Baidu, dubbed China’s Google, is working on its own smart glasses technology, a project similar to Google’s Glass.
A Baidu spokesman said the glasses would be able to search by using facial recognition.
Kaiser Kuo told Reuters that Baidu, China’s largest search engine, had not yet decided whether the glasses would be made commercially available.
“We experiment with every kind of technology that is related to search,” Kaiser Kuo said.
A leaked image taken at Baidu’s offices show a person wearing a headset matching the description of Baidu Eye
Like Google Glass, the Baidu glasses – reportedly known internally as Baidu Eye – consist of a small LCD screen attached to a slim headset.
A leaked image taken at Baidu’s offices show a person wearing a headset matching the description – but Baidu would not confirm if it was Baidu Eye.
Some early reports had suggested that news of the technology was in fact an April Fool’s joke – but while some reports on April 1st were embellished, there was truth behind the rumours.
Kaiser Kuo said that the technology makes the most of Baidu’s considerable expertise in facial recognition.
“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.”
Such words are likely to alarm those worried about the capabilities of this type of technology.
Campaign group “Stop the Cyborgs” has called for limits on when the headsets can be used.
Chinese search giant Baidu has announced the launch of its first smartphone Changhong H5018.
It is the Baidu’s first move into the mass smartphone market.
Built by Foxconn, the low-cost Changhong H5018 is powered by Baidu’s own mobile operating system, Cloud.
Analysts say it is extremely important Baidu to secure significant presence in the booming mobile industry in China, which has the largest number of smartphone users in the world.
The phone will be the first mobile device to run on Baidu’s Cloud Smart terminal platform and will come with 100GB of cloud storage on Wangpan, the local equivalent of Dropbox and Google Drive.
Built by Foxconn, the low-cost Changhong H5018 is powered by Baidu's own mobile operating system, Cloud
With a price tag of less than 1,000 yuan ($158), it will face fierce competition at the Chinese low-end smartphone market.
Customers currently have a choice between low-cost handsets made by firms such as Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corp, HTC, Lenovo and Xiaomi.
But Baidu’s director of international communications, Kaiser Kuo, said he believed that H5018 would do well.
“It’s a terrific market opportunity for us, and Baidu is constantly adjusting, understanding what users are interested in,” said Kaiser Kuo.
“The new handset is integrated with the cloud – and with our 100GB offering, I think that no one will be able to match that.”
Earlier this year, Baidu said it had to develop a stronger presence in China’s rapidly expanding mobile space.
With its Cloud Smart terminal platform, it hopes to attract the interest of hardware manufacturers.
“Baidu is recreating itself – we used to be a product-focused company, but now we are becoming a platform-focused company,” said Kaiser Kuo.
It was important for internet companies to secure presence in the mobile industry, said Beijing-based digital media analyst Bill Bishop.
“Mobile internet usage is booming. If Baidu doesn’t have a significant presence, they risk challenges to their business, and they [could] miss out on a new frontier,” he said.
“That said, they also risk alienating other handset partners who might use them as the search partner, but now see them as competitors.”
The new smartphone is primarily aimed at the Chinese market.
“Access to cloud-based services is a critical piece of the technology, and since they are tailored for China, it doesn’t make sense to push outside to other markets right now,” said Kaiser Kuo.
With access to Google’s search hampered by the Chinese government’s internet regulations known as the Great Firewall of China, Baidu dominates the country’s search traffic.