) has yet to publicly release its first set of glasses but they
are already being cloned by a Chinese competitor. Baidu (NASDAQ:
), which runs the largest search engine in China, is currently
developing a prototype device that will be very similar to
, the new glasses -- which are known internally as "Baidu Eye" --
will leverage Baidu's "strengths in image search and facial
Unlike Google Glass, which the American search engine giant
fully intends to sell, Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo told Reuters
that he is not sure if Baidu Eye will be commercialized. At this
stage it is primarily an experiment.
"We haven't decided whether it is going to be released in any
commercial form right now, but we experiment with every kind of
technology that is related to search," said Kuo.
1,000 developers signed up
to build software applications for Google Glass when the
developer version arrived last year.
The company has released several videos to demonstrate the
benefits of the eyewear, which includes a first-person camera
view for taking images and streaming live video.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin caused quite a stir when he
attempted to praise his company's new glasses by mocking the
world of smartphones.
"You're actually socially isolating yourself with your phone,"
Brin told the audience of a recent TED talk, as quoted by
. "I feel like it's kind of emasculating.... You're standing
there just rubbing this featureless piece of glass."
That "featureless piece of glass" has helped make Google
billions of dollars in additional ad revenue. Android, Google's
mobile OS, pushed BlackBerry (NASDAQ:
) to third place after its debut. Android is currently the only
mobile OS that has been able to keep Apple's (NASDAQ:
) iOS platform from taking over the industry.
By selling millions of Android devices, Google has maintained
its dominance in search, maps, video and other applications.
Without it, fewer users would have been exposed to Google's
In fact, Apple
ousted Google Maps
as the default mapping application in iOS. Thus, Google can only
ensure that its growth continues by building its own devices and
by licensing its own operating systems.
That, of course, may be the real source of inspiration for
Project Glass, Chrome OS and other Google initiatives: greater ad
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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