According to Chinese news agency Sina.com, China’s leading search engine is working on a Google Glass variant called Baidu Eye. The project is reportedly led by the company’s chief product designer and was initiated “years ago.”
Currently in prototype, Baidu Eye includes voice recognition technology similar to Google Glass, image recognition of objects in the wearer’s field of view, and bone-conduction technology for communicating to its user via spoken words. In addition, the device uses a liquid crystal display to transmit visual information.
Judging by the one grainy image published by Sina.com, the device is still early in preproduction, using a fairly standard-looking eyeglass-style chassis with the technology seemingly clamped on.
Baidu Eye is said to include visual recognition technology that can “recognize human faces, books, buildings” and also gestures that the wearer makes, allowing you to control the device via motions that trigger the camera or photo-sharing. Somewhat fancifully, the device is also said to be able to help police find suspects “if the technology is smooth.”
Interestingly, China Daily calls Baidu’s move “the latest effort by a Chinese company to follow the lead of U.S. tech giants.”
Baidu controls about 70 percent of Chinese web search, but it also publishes an encyclopedia and offers various community services. It is the second-largest Chinese Internet company, following Tencent, and it has released its own competitor in the smartphone market, the Changhong H5018, which comes with 100GB of cloud storage and, yes, runs Google’s Android operating system.
Image credits: Google, Baidu; Hat tip: TechInAsia