These LINE Friends camera sunglasses have bear and bunny ears
Will they prove more popular than Snap’s Spectacles?
No one has quite figured out how to make a great pair of smart glasses yet. But now one Chinese startup is betting on a pair of cartoon sensations to sell theirs.
Shenzhen’s TONOT has partnered with Japanese chat giant LINE to release two versions of camera sunglasses featuring the ears of Line’s Brown the bear and Cony the rabbit on the frame.
Just like Snap’s Spectacles, users can tap on the handle to take photos and videos. They can be synced to TONOT’s app and shared on various social platforms.
But the TONOT glasses also support up to 90 minutes of non-stop live streaming, albeit at a rather low resolution of 640p. They also have a slightly wider view of 120° compared to 105° for Spectacles.
The glasses are selling on JD.com for 1199 yuan (US$174). One customer review says they feel a bit heavy (they weigh 46g, around the same as Spectacles and comparable to a regular pair of glasses) -- and couldn’t take videos or pictures in low light conditions.
It’s not the first pair of camera glasses to come out of China this year. Last month Kuaishou, the short video app known overseas as Kwai, introduced its own pair that looked very much like Snap Spectacles. The Kwai glasses can live-stream through the Kwai app.
Despite the initial hype, demand for Spectacles fell flat when they were released in 2016. In May, Snap followed up with a new version that’s water-resistant and a little lighter. CEO Even Spiegel said this month he remains confident about the product.
"When combined with our efforts in augmented reality, we believe Spectacles represent an exciting opportunity as we build towards a future where computing is overlaid on the world," he said.