Epson unveils Moverio BT-100 for personal 3D viewing on the move

Epson takes on Sony in the battle of the personal 3D viewer

The demand for personal 3D viewing gear seems to be at an all time high – or so it would seem. First Sony decides to do a U-turn on its jaw-droppingly awesome head-mounted HMZ-T1 3D visor and actually transform it from concept into a mass-market device. Now, Epson's trying to grab a piece of the personal 3D/2D action with its Moverio BT-100 Video Glasses.

While it's certainly not as Robocop meets Star Trek as Sony's offering, it essentially offers the same style of viewing experience. So, despite being the size of a pair of an OAP's sunglasses, when you put them on it's like you're viewing a 320in screen from a comfortable distance.

Just like Sony's sci-fi headgear, the Moverio BT-100s pack a pair of 0.52in LCD displays that conjure up the widescreen viewing illusion. But unlike Sony's kit, you don't need to keep them plugged in at all times. The BT-100s come with a charger-cum-trackpad, which contains the batteries (with a six hour lifespan), 1GB of RAM, controls and SDHC card slots. Perfect for the commute – though we're not quite sure the world is ready for futuristic eye gear in public spaces.

Software-wise, the BT-100s run Android 2.2, complete with a carousel of icons for quick access to video files and photos. And they trump Sony with built-in Wi-Fi functionality, allowing you to surf the flash-enabled browser while on the move, stream movies or watch the latest videos in your own personal space.

Audio is taken care of with short cables attached to 3.5mm jacks behind each arm – which looks like an opportunity to plug your own cans in, to us. Unlike the T1s,  the BT-100s are transparent – so they aren't as immersive, but you will be able to see where you're going if you're foolish enough to try walking down the street while watching a 3D movie.

With 3D TVs failing to set the tech world alight, could the next big thing be personal 3D viewers? Only time will tell. They're about to be let loose in Japan on November 25, and word on the web is they'll be making their way to the UK early 2012 for around £600.

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