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Epson Moverio BT-100 review

Epson's 3D headset arrives to challenge the Sony HMZ-T1

Epson Moverio BT-100 review
You might want to look into upgrading the headphones if this transparent mobile viewer is something you need


  • Impressive size image
  • Design doesn't affect peripheral vision
  • Android interface
  • Web browser supports Flash video


  • Expensive
  • Limited file formats
  • Lack of noise cancelling headphones
  • Too many cables

Picture the scene: you're in an aircraft cabin, pulling the long haul.

The colour is draining not only from your face but also from that cheap LCD screen in the seat in front of you. Suddenly a cinema screen rolls down and a 3D movie starts to play, but only to you – and you even manage to see the drinks trolley in your peripheral vision.

Forget virtual reality; Epson's newest innovation – on sale now in Japan, and destined for the UK early in 2012 – is designed to create a portable, transparent home cinema experience for bored business travellers, though there's more to it than mere movies.

Armed with a Wi-Fi connection, the Moverio BT-100 can get online, and though it's not possible to download apps and games, its browser does support Adobe Flash video (as well as MPEG and H-264 videos manually transferred via a PC).

The BT-100 runs an Android operating system. Version 2.2, to be exact, though it's customised so much that it will be unfamiliar to most. It is controlled using a touch sensitive trackpad, which also houses a 4GB SD card to go with the internal 1GB of memory.

Battery life is rated at about six hours, and the product ships with a neat black carry case (though the whole package is rather large).

business travelers

As a portable home cinema, the BT-100 is rather behind the times in featuring a 960x540 pixel resolution for each eye, which is a quarter the resolution of a full HD image.

Is the BT-100 a direct rival to Sony's HMZ-T1? It's bound to be endlessly compared, but they're different beasts; the HMZ-T1 is about total immersion, and probably has a gaming future, while the lighter BT-100 is more mobile (the clue is in the 'Moverio' moniker) and doesn't give such a closed experience.

In short, Epson's effort is no 'Personal 3D Viewer' – it's actually marketed as the 'first consumer see-through mobile viewer'.