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Museums next up as Baidu Eye jumps on board wearables bandwagon

09/10/2014| 3:30:13 PM|

Search giant Baidu is looking at museums as one potential service for its Baidu Eye wearable device which was unveiled last week.

The headset device is a prototype for the China-based company and currently can be used to identify plants and flowers as well as items in a retail environment such as handbags and luggage.

It consists of an earpiece to tell users what they are seeing via a small camera and laser pointer on the right-hand side of the head to zero in on items. The device responds to voice commands and can also be controlled via a button on the headset.

Unlike other current wearable devices such as Google Glass, Baidu Eye does not have a screen. Information on what the user is seeing can also be received on a smartphone or tablet.

A company spokesman says this is for a number of reasons including the volume of people in China wearing glasses for sight, the potential distraction of a screen and battery life issues.

He adds that it is currently talking to museums about using the headset to identify and provide information on artworks and artifacts.

Baidu is likely to seek out B2B partnerships with museums initially and work with curators to provide information to visitors via the devices instead of audio guides.

No price or release date for Baidu Eye has been revealed although the spokesman claims it will be a lot cheaper than Google Glass. The company is also seeking to partner with a hardware developer for its production.

Google Glass trials have already been carried out at a number of airports including Copenhagen and Heathrow while Starwood Hotels has been testing an application for the headset.

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TAGS: Baidu | wearable device
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