Tencent, China’s biggest tech company, has made its own pair of video-recording sunglasses this week that bear a slight resemblance to Snap’s Spectacles. The Weishi smart glasses have a camera on the front, like Spectacles, so you can record video.
Snap’s Spectacles haven’t exactly done well in sales — the first generation lost the company nearly $40 million in unsold pairs. Unlike the first generation Spectacles, the Weishi glasses don’t highlight the camera with an ugly yellow ring. Instead, they’re all black, with a subtle cat eye, more like the second generation of Spectacles. We’ve reached out to Tencent for comment.
Tencent’s Weishi glasses, which mean “micro shows” in Mandarin, have the same name as the company’s Vine-like video app that it has been pushing. Tencent’s Weishi currently lags behind TikTok (formerly Musical.ly), which dominates the Chinese short video market right now and is seeing massive global success as well. The idea behind the glasses’ release is likely for users to record more short videos to upload to Weishi, to hopefully boost the platform’s popularity.
Currently, Tencent remains Snap’s largest investor, with a 17 percent share in the company. The Chinese conglomerate is most famous for its WeChat app that doubles up as a messaging and payments app, but it also has multiple investments. In the video games industry, Tencent fully owns Riot Games, which makes the game League of Legends.
The Weishi glasses will be available on November 11th, which is Alibaba’s Singles Day, a large shopping event that sold more units than Black Friday or Cyber Monday last year.