Tencent Holding (OTCMKTS:TCEH) has unveiled Weishi Smart glasses, short video recording spectacles with glaring similarities to ones released by Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) in 2016. Tencent, a Chinese social media giant with 12% ownership of the US-based Snap might have borrowed Snap’s design to augment its Weishi platform.
During the announcement of the Tencent’s partnership with Snap, Martin Lau, Tencent’s President expressed his joy in the new deal and mentioned that he looked forward to sharing ideas and experiences with the US tech company.
Snap’s flopped launch
Tencent is betting huge on the smart glasses despite witnessing how snap’s prototypes failed to impress in the market. Snap reportedly lost almost $40 million with a whole lot of unsold inventory reserves.
Nonetheless, Snap released the second generation of the smart glasses hoping that the upgrades in the new offerings would lure more customers that they can recoup what they lost from the original model.
Tencent is the company behind China’s largest social media platform WeChat. Wechat has evolved over time from a messaging app to and now offers payment services. It also owns a video sharing platform Weishi, where users can upload and share short videos. It is apparent that the new smart glasses fitted with front cameras are a complementary feature for the platform. The Weishi platform differentiates Tencent’s attempt with that of Snap.
The spectacles are slated for official release in November 11 which happens to be China’s shopping fiesta courtesy of Alibaba’s singles day. The company has not announced official prices for the smart glasses yet.
Tencent will be battling out for the video-taking glasses market with other players like Kuaishou. Kuaishou launched its own glasses a few months ago. The sunglasses are manufactured by EKEN. As of now a relatively tiny number of video-recording glasses have been sold collectively despite many players joining the largely unchartered industry.
Perhaps with the much hype in the sector consumers’ attention will be drawn to the exiting inventions and probably jump start the industry. Tencent’s release date is quite timely leaving the probability that the new products will sell unlike prior similar offerings.