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March 10, 2014

Temple Run in first-person, courtesy of Epson’s Android glasses (hands-on)

by John_A

We saw Epson’s Moverio BT-200 glasses back at CES, and while not much has changed on the hardware front since then, the company dropped by SXSW to demo a few new games. There’s also a new homemade camera rig, so it’s now possible to share the excitement here. Moverio supports the full version of Android 4.0, but unlike smartphones and tablets running the same OS, these glasses include a pair of embedded transparent displays, which provide a surprisingly usable view, while also preserving some of your field of vision — we absolutely would not recommend walking, driving or interacting with humans while wearing them, though.

We tested out the motion-tracking-equipped BT-200 using a custom game called Sky Temple — its creator describes the simple demo as a “real first-person version of Temple Run.” You can move by looking forward, while turning your head will change your direction in the game. Navigating the OS is handled using a wired trackpad (about the size of a small smartphone), and while we definitely prefer the efficiency of a touchscreen, this solution serves its purpose quite well. We’ve seen the hardware before, though, so today’s all about the video demo. You can check that out below, but keep in mind that gameplay was much smoother with the glasses mounted on my head, so we’d hesitate to draw conclusions based on the awkward rig used to capture this footage.

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