China’s Baidu Working on Google Glass Competitor

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Move over, Google Glass. China’s largest search engine Baidu has reportedly developed a prototype for a wearable Internet technology, according to numerous reports.

Chinese news outlet Sina.com, citing unnamed insiders, reported that Baidu is currently testing the prototype, which is similar to Google’s futuristic glasses. The wearable device, dubbed Baidu Eye, will reportedly be able to make phone calls, search the Web, and even recognize a user’s gestures to take and send photos.

Baidu did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the device. However, Baidu’s director of international communications, Kaiser Kuo, confirmed Eye’s existence to Mashable.

“We’re doing some internal testing on it now on a small scale, and evaluating where this goes from here,” Kuo told Mashable. “That’s why we didn’t make any public official announcement on this.”

Baidu reportedly isn’t prioritizing Eye, but will continue evaluating whether the device has market potential.

In its article, Sina.com cited another news website, QQ.com, which reported that Baidu is working with Qualcomm to give Eye a battery life of 12 hours. However, Kuo told Mashable that this is not the case. Those inaccurate details reportedly stemmed from “an April Fool’s prank gone awry.”

Kuo did, however, confirm that a photo of Baidu Eye making the rounds (above) is 100 percent real, and was taken at the company’s offices.

Though specifics of the operating system are not known, Eye will reportedly run an open platform on which developers can design applications. Baidu plans to outsource manufacturing of the glasses.

Meanwhile, Google last week announced the first batch of individuals who will have access to its own $1,500 Internet-connected glasses. Some of the applicants selected include Vitor Silva, who created a concept video to show how he’d use Glass to watch sports and Yelena Podkolzina, who promised to wear the device on her wedding day.

For more, see Google Glass: Everything You Need to Know.

By Angela Moscaritolo, PCMag


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