Review: Epson Moverio
We thought the Epson Moverio was the future when we first set our eyes on it. Now that we’ve actually handled it, here’s what we think:
The Epson Moverio is a curious piece of technology. It’s touted as a personal viewer, and comes packaged as a chunky, pseudo-futuristic piece of eyewear. Think of the Moverio as a preview, however, of what we can expect when the consumer version of Google Glass hits the market.
The Epson Moverio can handle .mp4 videos, photos, and music. It comes with built-in earphones of surprisingly good quality, though there is an option to plug in your own via a 3.5mm jack. The Moverio’s built in earphones are not detachable, and can’t be extended; so an extra set of earphones is a necessity should you want to share your music with a friend.
OS wise, the Moverio houses Google’s Android OS 2.2, which allows you to install Android apps and games via the Amazon App Store. Its software capabilities are somewhat limited by its physical design, however. While its projected images are nothing short of stellar – akin to watching a show at a movie theatre, with a 32-inch perceived display floating 20m away from the user – the little brick that serves as your navigation mars the user experience.
Doing things like typing, surfing the net, or even unlocking the screen with the solid navigator can be troublesome. It is not particularly sensitive, which might prove to be a bane if you’re trying to play games.
Certain functions of the Moverio are also tagged to hard switches on the navigator. The 2D/3D function, for instance, requires you to hold down a hard switch for several seconds before the switch is made. This can be a little confusing at first, as nearly every other function is switched on with one touch of a finger.
You can easily get used to these blips if you spend some time with the gadget. Fiddling with it on the go might prove to be more frustrating than it should be. Why?
Because even though the Moverio is touted to be a mobile machine for your entertainment, in reality, its cumbersome design makes it anything but. Its blockish design meant that it’s neither light nor small enough for easy portability. Worse, 240g may not seem much, but wear it for a prolonged period and you’re likely to end up with a pretty sore nose bridge (like it did for us). That said, Epson did make the smart design move to ensure that the Moverio fits over spectacles, for you myopic techies. Although some, if not most, bespectacled users will experience their glasses being weighed down by the Moverio – causing them to slide down your nose. The frontal lens shade is also removable, though that makes the Moverio look even more awkward than it already is.
Awkward? Yes, awkward. Just consider how the Moverio looks like in its current incarnation. Epson may be encouraging you to use it on the streets as a fashionable, high-tech gadget, but try convincing the fashion police prowling Orchard Road or Marina Bay Sands.
Despite some fundamental flaws with the Moverio, Epson still deserves kudos for opening up the potentials of a 3D headset. It may lack the oomph of Google’s Glasses or the community support of the Oculus Rift. Its S$999 pricetag makes it a rather risky investment even for early adopters. But if anything, Epson now have a foundation to build upon for a much improved Moverio 2.0 in the near future.
|SCORESHEET (out of 10)||OVERALL
The Epson Moverio is a portable mobile viewer from Epson. It was launched in Singapore on July 23 2012.