Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Epson Moverio Brings Scale to Smartglasses

A company best known for its printers and scanners is making a big move into the AR world with new smartglasses software.

 

What comes to mind when you think of Epson? If you’re like most people, probably printers and scanners. With the launch of Epson Moverio, the company hopes to change that perception and position itself as a leader in the enterprise AR.

Epson is not new to AR. The company has made smartglasses for nearly a decade. But they couldn’t help but notice that something was missing in the marketplace to make those glasses usable on a large scale.

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“There was no shortage of interest, but there was a lack of a first-step, turnkey solution,” said Leon Laroue, a technical product manager for augmented reality at Epson. “We saw that there needed to be an easier onramp for companies who want something off the shelf.”

Laroue said Epson Moverio provides that turnkey solution by allowing businesses to integrate AR into their existing support workflows.

Smartglasses for Remote Support

The most common use case for Moverio, Laroue said, is a remote technician working on site in collaboration with a team back in the main office.

When a problem occurs on site, a company does not need to waste time and money sending a whole team of experts out to address it. Instead, the technician gives the rest of the team a clear look at what’s happening in real-time.

Epson Moverio features include video and audio sharing and a cloud-based portal and usage tracking and analytics. However, the newly-released Moverio application is only compatible with Moverio smartglasses, which are available through Amazon and Best Buy.

Laroue said Epson’s biggest competitor in this space is not another AR company, but rather tools like Skype and FaceTime. He said the hands-free nature of smartglasses, combined with the focus on AR in the workplace, would prove appealing to global businesses.

Products like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens are too heavy, and their batteries do not last long enough. In contrast, Laroue said Epson designed Moverio with the worker in mind.

“I’ve seen techs fumble around with their phones trying to capture the right shot,” Laroue said.  “We’ve broken down the barriers to getting started and provide an end-to-end solution with both hardware and software.”

Accounts can be configured to match an organization’s roles and permissions, Laroue said.

A Large Company Enters the Marketplace

Epson Moverio is not the only service targeting the B2B market. Laroue said one advantage of working with a large company is that it has a robust and dedicated support team. Customers can rest assured knowing that there will always be someone ready and waiting to assist them, Laroue said.

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“We are accustomed to large-scale deployments,” Laroue said. “We have a full customer support and service team. You don’t need to worry about a startup that won’t be around in a few years.”

Epson Moverio bills by the minute. Plans available for 600, 1200 and 2400 minutes per month. The service is currently available to companies in the US and other non-GDPR countries, with plans to expand to Europe in the coming months.

Jenna Spinelle
the authorJenna Spinelle
Jenna Spinelle is a freelance journalist based in Pennsylvania. She loves learning about new ideas and new technologies and sharing that information with others. She holds a degree in journalism from Penn State University, and currently teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. When she's not writing or teaching, you can find her hosting and producing the Democracy Works podcast.