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Snap’s Spectacles (left) and the Kwai glasses (right). (Picture: Snap, Kuaishou)

Kwai’s new camera sunglasses look like Snap Spectacles

And they’re not very popular… like Snap Spectacles

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
The hype was off the charts. But when Snap Spectacles finally came out, they were met with a fairly disastrous reception.

Which only makes it all the weirder that it two years later, short video app Kuaishou (known as Kwai overseas) launched a pair of camera glasses… and they look suspiciously like the Snap Spectacles.

Same as the Spectacles, the Kwai glasses let users take photos and videos by tapping on the frame. And just as you can only sync your Spectacles with Snapchat, the Kwai glasses only export content to the Kwai app.

Snap’s Spectacles (left) and the Kwai glasses (right). (Picture: Snap, Kuaishou)

Both also have their cameras on the same side of the frame, with indicator lights on the opposite side. But there are a few differences.

In China, Kwai is one of the most popular apps for short video sharing and live streaming, which is why their glasses support live streaming -- but only at the low, low resolution of 360p. And unlike Spectacles, which only let you shoot a circular format, users can shoot in portrait mode with the Kwai glasses.

China’s Kwai video app tops the charts in Russia and beyond

The glasses were jointly released by Kwai and Dashi, a short video company not widely known before. But the company shares some of the same executives as Kwai, according to Chinese media reports.

Reaction has so far been lukewarm at best. On Weibo, apart from pointing out its similarity to the Spectacles, a lot of users are expressing concern about being filmed without knowing.

“What if I find myself on Kuaishou after seeing someone wearing sunglasses stare at me?” one Weibo user says.

Only 0.08% of Snapchat’s users bought the first Spectacles and less than 50 percent of buyers were still using them after a month. And some also doubt if the Kwai glasses can make it in China -- the 360p resolution won’t be good enough for professional live streamers on the app, and most users wouldn’t bother buying a pair of camera glasses when they already have a smartphone.

The glasses are now on sale on Dashi’s store on Alibaba’s Tmall for 666 yuan (US$101), and come in 5 colors.


(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)

Why are Chinese internet users so hooked on short video apps?

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