Las Vegas — At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Epson announced a new model of smart glasses that immerse the wearer in augmented reality virtual experiences. The company’s primarily focused on private sector market at the moment, but Epson staff spoke to Government Technology about possible public-sector uses that may arise in the future.

Rajeev Mishra, Epson’s vice president for North America sales and marketing, touted the Moverio BT-200’s group of features at a Monday press conference, which include:

  • 3D-capable virtual environment in 960x540 resolution;
  • Built-in motion sensors;
  • Dolby digital plus sound;
  • A front-facing camera; and
  • An Android-based controller with a trackpad and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support.

Though Mishra didn’t mention in his speech any government applications currently in development, he did share public-sector possibilities one-on-one with Government Technology following his audience address. 

“I think, if we look at opportunities within the military, imagine being out in the field, seeing surroundings around you and being able to get additional information, that’ll help you make better decisions,” he said.

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The same technology could benefit emergency management operations as well.

“Some of it would be emergency response — areas where you need more information for a firefighter or someone who’s in an area where they really need to use their hands,” said Michael Leyva, an Epson contractor who works on marketing and product launches. “It would be inconvenient for them to be reaching for a device to see what’s going on in the environment around them.” 

Beyond that, however, other public safety uses could prove problematic. Leyva mentioned facial recognition for law enforcement, but said that’s a touchy subject because of taxpayer privacy concerns.

But other government applications could be gold mine for innovation for public education and history, Mishra said..

“Today when you walk into a museum, you typically have the little device with the earphone that tells you about the exhibit you’re about to see," he said. "I could absolutely imagine that being replaced with smart glasses where you could not only hear what you’re seeing but you could also get additional information on top of that."

Hilton Collins, Staff Writer
Hilton Collins  |  GT Staff Writer

By day, Hilton Collins is a staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines who covers sustainability, cybersecurity and disaster management issues. By night, he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic, and if he had to choose between comic books, movies, TV shows and novels, he’d have a brain aneurysm. He can be reached at hcollins@govtech.com and on @hiltoncollins on Twitter.