Chinese Search Engine Baidu Inc. Opens an AR Lab in Beijing

Technology - Pavan Pandey - Jan 17,2017

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chinese search engine baidu inc opens an ar lab in beijing

Chinese search engine Baidu Inc. launched an augmented reality (AR) lab in Beijing as part of a $200 million effort to revitalize the firm’s shrinking profit.

The chief scientist overseeing Baidu’s artificial intelligence, augmented reality and deep learning projects, Mr. Andrew Ng, said that the AR marketing is taking off. He further added that there are limited content formats where the content is evergreen, augmented reality will be similar to that.

The newly opened lab, which presently employees 55 people, will primarily aim to drive revenue through augmented reality (AR) marketing, though will later focus on healthcare and education.

Baidu’s augmented reality (AR) launch comes at a time when the corporation gears up to report full-year incomes next month. The corporation has forecast a revenue drop of about 4.6% as it grapples with the result of new government limits on medical advertising. This curb has cut into the profits of the company’s core search business and saw ad consumers drop 6% in the quarter which ended in September.

One of the largest internet companies in the world, Baidu, injected $200 million into its AR and AI unit in September in an effort to kick-start new growth, which was followed by the declaration of a $3 billion investment fund announced in the month of October aiming at mid-to-late stage start-ups.

Baidu Inc. said in a statement that it is presently working on augmented reality in the country with BMW, Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC and L’Oréal SA’s Lancôme amid other brands and has demonstrated a small range of high-end applications.

According to Mr. Ng, Baidu is working quite well now, but it’s clear that it could be superior.

Baidu Inc. initiated working on the AR technology two years ago and is working on integrating it with AI to generate visuals proficient of interacting with real-time surroundings, unlike present popular augmented reality games.

Currently, augmented Reality technology is still going through a regulatory teething stage in the People’s Republic of China (PRC.