Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Project Glass, which can be seen above, is the company’s newest effort to develop an augmented reality experience by simply putting on a pair of glasses. Now, its Chinese competitor, the search engine giant Baidu, is creating its own version of the tech accessory that has wowed the Internet.
According to the China Daily, a prototype of Baidu’s version of the $1,500 Google Glass is known internally among developers as the “Baidu Eye.” It will also be a wearable LCD display device that will supposedly function like the Google model. It will include speech recognition features, in Mandarin of course, and other specs similar to Google Glass like image recognition and motion sensing.
While Google Glass is expected to arrive in stores as early as the end of this year, Baidu has yet to officially announce the Baidu Eye product to the public. Rumors among China’s active social media have been speculating about Baidu’s new product, some of which were thought to be April Fool's jokes. Kaiser Kuo, a Beijing-based Chinese-American who is Baidu’s international communications director, confirmed to Mashable that the Baidu Eye prototype did exist and is being tested while plans to sell the product commercially are still in discussion.
“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 told Mashable.
Baidu currently is mainly known in China for being the nation’s most popular online search engine but is striving to expand its business model to resemble tech giants Google or Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Tapping into gadget development could be a step in that direction.
Sina.com also says that Baidu is also developing the Baidu Eye on a platform that will allow for user-generated application development, similar to Apple’s App Store or Google's Play Store for Android.
The China Daily also reported that the Google Glass and the Baidu Eye share another similarity; they will likely both be manufactured by Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, longtime maker of Apple’s iPhones and iPad products.