Wearable Tech World Feature Article
April 03, 2013

Baidu Eye - Google Glass is Now D.E.A.D.

Google Glass, we hardly knew you.

Sergey Brin must be wondering if there’s a Baidu smart car out there now as well. Why? And what is Baidu Eye? Can it really be Brin’s worst nightmare?

Well, probably not.

Sina Tech has a report out that claims Baidu is fast at work on its own augmented reality glasses. Baidu looks to have perhaps also caught the wearable technology bug and wants to compete. As is the usual case when we get an Apple leak from China, the Sina Tech report cites “knowledgeable but otherwise anonymous sources” suggesting Baidu is making progress on a set of AR glasses whose description sounds mysteriously like a Google Glass description.

The report even comes with a photo, which we’ve provided below.

For all we know, it’s a pair of sunglasses equipped with an empty box and some sort of lens/LCD display that merely looks from afar to be a sort of Google Glass-like design. Or not. As is also usually the case when we get China-based leaks, there’s the requisite warning label: “Baidu executives were not available for comment” – in this case per both the China Daily and Tech in Asia.

Beyond what can be seen from the photo, the Baidu Eye, according to the report, also sports a video camera and is able to recognize and capture images and – like Google Glass – is controlled by one’s voice. There’s no information on how sound is transmitted. Sina Tech claims that these core features are supposedly already working.

The report further notes that the Baidu Eye will also be an application platform for which third-party developers will be able to develop apps. Now that definitely sounds familiar.

Can it be a far removed dream then that the Baidu Eye will likely also be expanded to include an entire system of and a platform for wearable technology? That would make sense to us.

There’s no mention of an operating system, and perhaps it will not be Android. What then?

The entire platform might evolve to also offer health, fitness and lifestyle wearable tech capabilities, in addition to its augmented reality capabilities. If this is the case we certainly hope Baidu is able to make it down to our Wearable Tech Expo and Conference this summer! Baidu, let us know; it would be great to have you join us.

Based on the photo, it doesn’t appear that the Baidu Eye is really all that far along. It doesn’t look streamlined by any stretch of the imagination or ready to be ridden around like Google Glass in a New York City subway just yet. Sina Tech also notes that Baidu is supposedly working with Qualcomm to improve battery life, at least to 12 hours and preferably better.

Sina Tech’s report suggests that if image recognition and image capture is good enough – which implies there is suitable face recognition capability as well – it could be used to catch criminals simply by walking around. What more could China’s “minders and handlers” and police wish for? We’re not sure, but we’d much rather simply take them for a subway ride than worry about being recognized as wanted (or unwanted!) criminals.

Ok, so perhaps Google Glass isn’t dead yet. And Sergey can relax and hang out and not worry about the Baidu Eye…yet.

We look to hear much more.

Edited by Braden Becker

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