Epson, DJI partner on AR smart glasses for piloting UAVs
Epson, providers of the Moverioaugmented reality (AR) smart eyewear platform, is partnering with DJI, maker of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The companies are creating new solutions for the Epson Moverio smart glasses and DJI’s suite of products and software development kit (SDK) that enhance the safety, productivity and capabilities of UAVs for both hobbyists and professionals.
As one of the first initiatives of the partnership, DJI will optimize the DJI GO app for the Epson Moverio BT-300 AR smart glasses, shipping late Q4.
With the app and the Moverio glasses, drone pilots will be able to see crystal clear, transparent first-person views (FPV) from the drone camera while simultaneously maintaining their line of sight with their aircraft. The DJI GO app works with the DJI Phantom, Inspire and Matrice series flying platforms as well as the Osmo handheld gimbal and camera.
The two companies will co-market the Moverio BT-300 as a compatible DJI accessory. The Epson smart glasses will be available for purchase on DJI.com while the DJI GO app will be available for download from the Moverio Apps Market.
The Epson/DJI partnership arrives as newly streamlined FAA regulations for UAVs have taken effect, making it easier for businesses to expand the use of drones for a variety of aerial photography and videography purposes. Construction, real estate, insurance, agriculture, emergency response, conservation, academic research, film and video production and numerous other fields that benefit from UAVs have embraced the relaxed rules. However, the FAA has maintained the rule that UAVs must remain within the visual line-of-sight (VLOS) of the remote pilot, reinforcing the relevance of the Epson and DJI partnership.
“The Moverio BT-300 marks an impressive advance in performance for the platform and will make flying and filming safer and help users stay in compliance with federal regulations,” said Michael Perry, director of strategic partnerships, DJI. “We are excited to see the incredible applications that can be built with the BT-300 and the recently relaunched DJI SDK — the possibilities truly are endless.”
DJI maintains a 70 percent market share of the $2 billion consumer drone market, and its aerial platforms are used by two-thirds of businesses approved by the FAA to operate commercially. More than 600,000 UAVs are expected to be in use in 2017.
“We believe this partnership with DJI will revolutionize how UAV pilots operate their aircraft in this fast-growing industry, now and into the future,” said Eric Mizufuka, product manager, New Ventures for Epson America. “In addition to validating Epson’s investment in its Moverio line, this is the first time AR smart glasses will be widely available for a mass-market consumer application, marking an historic milestone in the evolution of the category.”
In addition to making drone piloting safer, the goals of the partnership include providing pilots and film-makers with new AR tools for enhanced productivity when using a UAV. Epson and DJI will also work together to create entirely new experiences for the fast-growing number of UAV hobbyists and businesses, as well as conduct joint sales and marketing efforts worldwide.
Launching its first-generation smart glasses in 2011, the Epson Moverio BT-300 represent the world’s lightest binocular, transparent smart glasses with an OLED display. Combining breakthrough silicon-based OLED digital display technology and Android OS 5.1, the Moverio BT-300 enables truly transparent mobile AR experiences.
The Epson Moverio BT-300 will be available in late Q4 and may be pre-ordered at Epson.com/Moverio. Epson will be demonstrating the DJI GO app on the Moverio BT-300 in booth No. 81 at InterDrone 2016, which is being held Sept. 7-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.