Part of the charm of driving radio controlled cars is the remote command you have of the smaller-than-life vehicle. Aside from the lower costs of operating a miniature performance machine, such as a touring car, short course truck, or rock crawler, is the lack of personal harm possible when one’s bravery overcomes his or her talent level; Would you have the guts to keep your foot on the floor just inches away from a corner marker or when heading up a takeoff jump? It’s this disconnect from the real world that convinced Joseph Chen, former product development manager for Epson, to demonstrate the technology of the brand’s Moverio wearable 3D-display glasses by merging the fantasy with the reality. RC gives us the chance to explore the limits of a motorized vehicle without lifting ones feet, but it’s only natural to wonder what it would be like to take a lap from the driver’s seat—the one that’s inside the car—which is why we’ve been strapping on-board cameras into our cars for years to watch what happens after you flip the switch. Watching that video feed real-time adds another dimension of realism to the experience, which is why FPV systems for RC aircraft have blown up in popularity, but the limited view of a camera and the unfamiliarity of the typical third-person perspective restricts how well you can navigate obstacles – the ones that planes and helicopters don’t have to deal with, like rocks, sticks, curbs, bumps, trees…you get the idea. Epson’s Moverio glasses project the digital image onto its transparent lenses, offering the rare opportunity to combine both viewpoints – which is exactly why Chen, an avid RC racer, saw his hobby as the perfect application for the device’s capabilities-and he was right.
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