We all know China as a country that has the market cornered on producing knock offs of American products, and tech products in particular. From those phony Apple iPhones to having a fake Samsung Galaxy S IV out to consumers even before the real deal is available, there is no end to things they will try to make their own so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there is a Chinese version of the highly anticipated Google Glass.
It seems as though Baidu Inc., which ironically enough is China’s largest search engine, is developing their own set of digital eye wear that will be called “Baidu Eye”. The headset is currently being tested internally will have a small LCD screen and will feature image and voice recognition technology. The Baidu Eye will communicate with the wearer by using bone conduction technology, which sends sounds to the inner ear through the bones of the skull.
While still in the early developmental phase, the “Eye” can “recognize human faces, books, buildings”. Additionally there are specific gestures that the user can make to control the device, commanding it to take a picture and then share it for example.
The company apparently has plans to make the Baidu Eye an application platform for third party developers. The hope being that companies could take their innovation and tailor it to suit their various needs. One example given was giving the police the ability to better identify suspects.
Kaiser Kuo, Baidu’s spokesman says: “What you are doing with your camera, for example, taking a picture of a celebrity and then checking on our database to see if we have a facial image match, you could do the same thing with a wearable visual device. 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.”
There are still some hurdles that the Baidu Eye needs to overcome and similarly to the Google Glass project they relate to the privacy of those not wearing the product. Also Communist China has some of the strictest censorship laws in the world so there could be issues with the speed of which pictures are taken and shared.