Chinese search engine giant Baidu has confirmed that it is developing its own Baidu Eye head-mounted augmented reality device, which could rival Google Glass.
What started off as an April Fools’ Day joke, the Baidu Eye is a project the Chinese company is working on, based on an “ocular wearable interface” with LED.
“It is true that we are working on something, but it is not necessarily for release in the market,” said Kaiser Kuo, Baidu’s Director of International Communications. “We’re doing some internal testing on it now on a small scale, and evaluating where this goes from here. That’s why we didn’t make any public official announcement on this.”
Kuo said the company has been working on the technology for a number of years, and is not just a project in response to the Google Glass technology. Baidu decided to go public with the official information about Baidu Eye after a number of Asian websites leaked the prototype device as part of an April Fools’ Day prank. Unlike the majority of such jokes though, Baidu Eye is based on a real project.
According to a variety of reports, Baidu, like Google, is looking to incorporate face-recognition software as well as the ability to make phone calls or take photos. Advanced voice-recognition software is said to be included in Baidu Eye, with the device capable of identifying faces, books, building and user gestures for navigation.
“Baidu understands that text is not always the best way to search,” added Kuo. “It’s all about visual search on images and voice command. These have been a part of science fiction since the Fifties but now they’re becoming reality.
With Google Glass looking set to launch later this year, other companies like Baidu, Sony or Huawei could feel the pressure to launch their own augmented reality wearable technology in the near future.
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Via: Slash Gear