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Baidu Builds Its Own Great Wall in China, Grabs Third of Digital Ad Revenues in the CountryBaidu, Inc. is a well known Chinese powerhouse, but the company has been branching out even more as of late.

Now comes news that Baidu has created an Augmented Reality Lab. The goal of the lab is to develop state of the art technologies, including creation AR-based applications for a diverse set of industries.

According to a company announcement, “The new lab, which is a spin-off from Baidu’s Institute of Deep Learning (IDL), is Baidu’s latest effort to leverage its technology and customer base to explore AR applications powered by fundamental AI technologies like computer vision and deep learning.”

This comes on the heels of the Baidu launch of an AR platform for smartphones in August 2016.

The platform offered “a range of AR-based marketing and advertising solutions for the world’s leading brands such as L’Oreal China, KFC China, and Lancôme, providing customers with fun, interactive experiences to learn about products and offerings.”

The Chinese L’Oreal creation allowed users to activate AR effects on shampoo bottles, as well as interact with the images to earn promotions.

“Our cell phone-based approach has enabled us to ship Augmented Reality experiences to a significant number of users in a very short amount of time,” said Andrew Ng, the Chief Scientist at Baidu, who heads Baidu Research which oversees the AR Lab. “There is an appetite for this technology; we are seeing rapid adoption by our partners in a range of industries.”

AR functionality is now available in multiple Baidu products including gateway apps Mobile Baidu, Baidu Maps, and local services app Baidu Nuomi, offering hundreds of millions of users immediate access to the new AR experiences.

“AR allows us to synthesize the virtual world with the real world, and will transform how all of us perceive our surroundings,” said Zhongqin Wu, Head of Baidu’s new AR Lab. “We’ve already seen rapid growth in AR marketing, and expect other industries to follow.”

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