Baidu Eye is no joke, aims to be a Google Glass competitor

We all know that Chinese search giant Baidu is notorious for receiving much inspiration from its US counterpart, Google, and according to the above IM screenshot published on April Fools' Day (now bear with us here), the former is apparently already working on its own version of Glass. This claim is seemingly supported by a couple of articles from Tencent Tech and Sina Tech, who said that the spectacles feature a tiny LCD, image recognition technology, voice control technology and bone conduction audio. These all sound familiar, no? The articles also mentioned Qualcomm's "latest power management chip," which would allegedly push the device's battery life up to 12 hours. That said, Baidu's real goal is apparently to offer an open platform for wearable devices in all shapes and forms: watches, necklaces, headphones and more.

Despite all the fine details, we were rather skeptical at first given the poor timing of the leaks, but after reaching out to Baidu, it's a yes and no from Kaiser Kuo, the company's Director of International Communications:

"We really are developing something similar in its basic functionality to what was described in the Sina Tech report and other sources in the Chinese press; the reports were correct in their essentials though they got some of the details wrong (and those inaccuracies may have have its origins in an April Fool's prank gone awry!). The project's internal name is Baidu Eye. Not sure whether that's going to be its final name. We're doing some internal testing on it now on a small scale, and evaluating where this goes from here. That's why we didn't make any public official announcement on this."

So in a nutshell: yes, Baidu is indeed developing a pair of smart glasses as well. Kuo went on to confirm that the photo was indeed taken in the Baidu offices, but wasn't sure whether the device on the man's head was actually a prototype. Given the caveat, let's not read too much into the aforementioned details just yet and let Baidu work its magic.

Update: Kuo just got back to us to say that the Qualcomm mention is inaccurate to the best of his knowledge.