Meet Baidu Eye, A Chinese Google Glass April Fool’s Joke…That’s Sort Of Real

China’s version of Google is also experimenting with augmented reality specs.

Meet Baidu Eye, A Chinese Google Glass April Fool’s Joke…That’s Sort Of Real

Sina Tech reported that Baidu, China’s de facto regional “Google“, is also working on an augmented reality headset. It’s called Baidu Eye.

Baidu Eye is not a fully fledged product, and it may not reach store shelves anytime soon. TechCrunch spoke with Baidu–the company said the stunt was a bit of April Fools’ joke…but that actually, Baidu is internally researching augmented reality specs that are a lot like Google’s Glass.

Though little else is known about the device, we do know that it is in some ways similar to Glass, that it has got voice commands built in, and that it is designed, at least in part, to make visual searching easier.

If Baidu Eye ever did come to market, it could certainly a contentious idea because its built-in recognition system could easily be leveraged by the Chinese government for less-than-savory purposes. A “Baidu Eye” could enable citizens to upload imagery that would challenge China’s censorial grip on the Net.

The idea of a Baidu Eye is a gentle slap in the face for Google, which has limited operations in China, thanks to serious battles with the Chinese government. For this reason, Google is not well placed to get Glass adopted inside the giant Asian nation.

[Image: That’s Google’s Glass on the top, and the inset image is the Eye via Sina Tech]

About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise.