Google Glass, Not so Unique Anymore
Last week, eight thousand people were selected by Google in a contest to win a chance to test the new Google Glass. What is Google Glass? Worn like a pair of eyeglasses, the mobile device acts as a wearable computer that has features such as location-sensing technology, embedded camera, voice control, and GPS. Wearers access the features by saying them out loud. So, these glasses seem to be one of a kind right? Well, according to Sina.com, China’s top search engine, Baidu is creating its own version of the eyewear.
According to news site Sina.com, unnamed sources reported that Baidu is testing a prototype called Baidu Eye. Similar to Google Glass, the device will reportedly have a LCD display, voice-control image recognition and bone-sensing. Bone –sensing is the same technology Google Glass is using to allow for voice control. According to the sources, the Baidu Eye will allow wearers to make phone calls, search the web, and gesture to take and send photos. Also similar to Google’s eyewear, Baidu Eye will have an open platform for developers.
Reported on Gizmodo.com, it is no surprise that a Chinese version of Google Glass is in the works. The article states that, “It makes perfect sense for knockoff Google to knockoff Project Glass.” According to Popular Science, similar to Google, Baidu has a huge majority share of the search market in its native country. Baidu also has a map service, a news page, local search, a social nework, an online encyclopedia, a browser, a cloud documents service and a smartphone operation system. Does this sound familiar to you? Contrary to Google and as stated in the same article, Baidu is supposedly notorious for censoring what the Chinese government wants, has been involved in bribery scandals and offers ways to search for pirated content online.
Also stated on Sina.com, Baidu is working with Qualcomm, a US-based company, who will provide the Baidu Eye with a 12 hour life battery. Qualcomm is responsible for some of the best mobile internals on the market. According to Popular Science, Foxconn will be responsible for building the eyewear. This is the same company that is known for assembling Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
After reading about the Chinese eyewear by Popular Science, it seems that some are annoyed that Baidu is creating their own version of Google Glass. However, I personally think kudos to them. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition on the market. Also, is it fair to assume that a Chinese version of the eyewear will be a bit cheaper in price? I guess time will tell with this. Nevertheless, sometimes it is good to not be the first player in the market and have the second player advantage. Do you agree?
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