Moverio smart glasses tested in disaster response system

BT-200 glasses seamlessly interact with satellite and drones

Moverio smart glasses tested in disaster response system

Recently, Epson and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in the city of Sakaide in Japan, to explore the feasibility of a new post-disaster rapid-response system that combines the partners' respective cutting-edge technologies.

Epson provided its Moverio BT-200 smart glasses for the project. Worn like an ordinary pair of glasses, Moverio smart glasses display content on a perceived "floating" screen. They free up your hands and project images that you can see through, which means that digital information can be layered on top of images in the real world. You can use Moverio together with a mirroring adapter to transmit video and audio to the headset wirelessly.

The NICT provided a system for linking Kizuna, a super high-speed internet satellite, with aerial drones to enable wireless communication during disasters. This system would allow images taken by a drone flying above regions devastated by disasters to be transmitted in real time via satellite.

For this test, Epson and the NICT combined their technologies to build a disaster response system such as that depicted below.

Giving rescue workers a clear overview

The proposed system would use a drone to film or photograph a disaster site. Information about filmed or photographed locations would be sent virtually in real time using the NICT's wireless technology to a disaster relief taskforce on the ground or to the disaster site. This data would then be retransmitted to a Moverio BT-200 from a wireless mirroring adapter.

On-the-ground rescue workers equipped with Moverio smart glasses would be able to observe their surroundings while also receiving aerial images displayed on the Moverio screen, thus enabling them to rapidly make the right decisions in emergencies. The test that was conducted demonstrated that the system delivers information as planned.

A new method of drone control

Epson and the NICT also tested a new method of operating a drone by remote control using Moverio smart glasses. Ordinarily, drones are operated using a special controller. The problem with these controllers is that you have to constantly shift your gaze to the controller screen and away from the drone.

A drone operator wearing smart glasses, however, can see a semi-transparent screen projected in his field of vision. He or she can therefore operate the drone without losing sight of it as it flies through the air. Epson and the NICT are aligned in their desire to realise a practical system in the future and, toward that end, plan to engage in further testing and development.