Baidu pushing OS for smartwatches, wearable devices

The Chinese Internet giant has rolled out a site featuring wearable devices running its mobile cloud operating system, as part of its push to tap the market and expand its presence in mobile.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Baidu has launched a site featuring wearable devices using its operating system, in its latest push to break into the market.

The products on the site, which include a health monitoring wristband similar to Nike Fuelband and a smartwatch, are equipped to run its mobile platform Baidu Cloud. It will power face and speech recognition technology on the devices, noted IDG News.

baidu wearables
(source: x.baidu.com/wearable)

Currently, none of the devices on the site appear to be available for sale. In April, Baidu confirmed it was working on its own Google Glass-like device under the name Baidu Eye, but had not plans to commercialize it yet. Japanese telco Docomo has since unveiled a similar concept with its instant translator glasses.

Q3 flat on mobile investments

Baidu has been ramping up its investments to tap the mobile space.

In its third quarter earnings released on Wednesday, profit was largely flat due to expenses in marketing its mobile services and R&D. Net profit rose 1.3 percent to 3.05 billion yuan (US$498 million) from the previous year. This was on the back of a 42 percent rise in revenue to 8.89 billion yuan (US$1.453 billion).

"I am proud of the progress we made during the quarter. Our flagship mobile products like search and maps continue to gain momentum," said Robin Li, CEO of Baidu in a statement. He pointed out the company had been building up its mobile native app distribution capabilities such as with the US$1.9 billion purchase of 91 Wireless appstore.

Baidu had first worked with Dell in 2011 to release several phones built with what would become Baidu Cloud, noted IDG News. The platform features a suite of services from the company, similar to how some functions of Android OS are tied to Google.

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