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Baidu in the process of developing eyewear similar to Google Glass

By Xiao Xin (Global Times)

13:28, April 12, 2013

Ever since US Internet giant Google Inc started hyping its Google Project Glass last year, the technology world has been poised to jump into what seems to be the next big thing.

Now with Baidu Inc, producer of China's biggest search engine, entering the emerging wearable device battlefield, this trend seems to be reaching the Chinese market.

Baidu is now working on a project internally known as Baidu Eye, a soon-to-be Chinese version of Google Glass, in an attempt to take on Google in an arena that has recently been under the spotlight, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing Kaiser Kuo, a Baidu spokesman.

The prototype eyewear being developed will be head-mounted with a small LCD display, allowing users to conduct image searches as well as face recognition, according to Kuo.

Such functions sound quite similar to Google Glass, an Android-based wearable sporting heads-up displays for augmented reality.

But Kuo said it's too early to make comparisons between the two, and the Chinese firm has yet to decide whether such a product would be ultimately commercialized. "We haven't decided whether it is going to be released in any commercial form right now, but we experiment with every kind of technology that is related to search," Kuo said.

Google's hype has served to ignite passion over this futuristic area, and Apple's rumored entry into the market with an iOS-based wristwatch-like device invites more confidence in market prospects.

Industry watchers have recently told the Global Times, however, that we shouldn't expect a wearable boom in China in the foreseeable future.

"China could be a major market but it will depend in part on developing locally relevant applications for these devices," Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, told the Global Times.

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