Baidu's Google Glass-like wearable, Baidu Eye, was demonstated for the first time at Baidu World, the company’s annual showcase event in Beijing, today.
Announced in early April 2013, Baidu Eye uses a camera to scan objects and then synchs with a smartphone. Most notably, Baidu’s wearable product doesn’t include a screen. Instead, the device pairs with a smartphone or tablet to provide the kind of functionality that you’d get from a screen.
The Baidu Eye prototype does support voice- and gesture-based commands. It connects to the internet via a WiFi connection or mobile hotspot rather than independently like Google Glass.
The Chinese company is planning to integrate Eye with social networks and gaming, as well as hands-free activities like taking photos and videos or answering calls.
Baidu said the device is still a prototype, but there are plans to make it available for consumers some time in the future.
Baidu also announced new services that help shoppers find retail stores and retrieve product information.
Baidu will invest in mapping company IndoorAtlas Ltd., which allows users to find their way through malls and office buildings.
IndoorAtlas is the world?s first location service using magnetic anomalies inside buildings to pinpoint indoor locations, with results that are accurate to less than three meters, according to its website.
The Baidu Connect service, which started today, allows merchants and restaurants to register and set up an account that makes it easier to reach customers and offer location-based services. Once the account is created, that presence becomes integrated across Baidu?s offerings such as search and maps, so businesses can offer promotions and discounts.