Baidu's Android-based smartwatch OS gets a landing page

Google might be the household name in web search and services globally, but in China, Baidu has more clout. As if to take that competition one notch higher, Baidu is teasing some details about a smartwatch operating system that, while based on Android as well, is set to compete with Google's own Android Wear platform. Dubbed the DuWear, this smartwatch OS promises functionality similar to Android Wear and then some, naturally integrating with Baidu's own products and services, and even running on existing Android Wear devices.

Android Wear itself is based on Android of course, but being based directly from Android may mean that Baidu is diverging from the exact path that Google took. This might be akin to what Samsung did with its first Galaxy Gear, which predated Android Wear and therefore had to retrofit Android itself into that small space. It wouldn't be surprising considering Baidu seems to be intent on going its own way.

Details about DuWear are still slim at this point, but a few features have already been spilling out. In particular, DuWear OS features will revolve around Baidu's own services and less around Google's. Again, not surprising considering Baidu has products that rival Google's own. Voice search, for one, will make use of Baidu's services. There might even be an integrated payment system where the wearer did only say "I want to make a payment" to make it so.

DuWear will also include support for navigation and GPS, features which are also relatively new to Android Wear. As to the hardware, DuWear OS might actually become like an after market ROM for smartwatches, with initial support for the Sony SmartWatch 3, the Moto 360, and the LG G Watch and G Watch R. Baidu might also come out with a DuWear Watch later on, perhaps sometime in June according to sources.

Android Wear has not yet penetrated the Chinese market and the Apple Watch's price tag might discourage buyers there from investing in the wearable device. Baidu sees it as a golden opportunity to blaze a trail in this corner of the industry. It has already put up a website teasing the feature of DuWear OS, though it naturally leaves out specifics such as launch date and availability.