Baidu's new headset and chopsticks record, ID and judge the food you eat

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Mariella Moon
September 3, 2014 9:51 PM
In this article: baidu, baidueye, chopsticks
Baidu's new headset and chopsticks record, ID and judge the food you eat

Chinese search giant Baidu has formally launched its answer to Google Glass, but unlike Mountain View's creation, it doesn't actually come with a display. The headset, called Baidu Eye, wraps behind your head instead. It recognizes voice and gesture commands, including being able to look up anything you want like plants, bags or clothes just by encircling any object in the Eye's line of sight with your finger. The system then sends the results to your smartphone in the absence of a display. That's not the only thing the company showcased at its recent annual developers' conference in Beijing, though: it has also debuted its new smart chopsticks, which originally began as an April Fools' joke.

The high-tech utensils can be used not only to eat, but also to detect the quality of oil used in your food -- its light indicator glows red if it's unsafe for consumption, and blue if it's safe. Since Chinese food typically requires huge amounts of oil, the chopsticks can make sure you're ingesting fresh oil, not something that's been recycled numerous times. We're not even talking about cooking oil restaurants use over and over; we're talking about "gutter oil," which is literally something scooped up from sewers. The gutter oil industry is big in China, with the police cracking down on "recyclers" for years, as the material can contain a fungus that increases risk of liver cancer and developmental disabilities in kids. Baidu CEO Robin Li didn't mention any price or release date for either device, but he promised that the chopsticks will also be able to detect PH levels and, more importantly for the health conscious, calories in food in the future.

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