Warby Parker’s latest tool lets shoppers try on glasses using augmented reality
Publish Date： 2019-02-11
By Peter Holley
Way back in 2010, Warby Parker’s Home Try-On program changed the way people buy glasses.
Its secret? Creating a casual business transaction that felt more like commitment-free dating. The idea was simple: Customers could select multiple new frames online before testing them out for five days in person. Once the test drive was up, customers could commit to a pair of glasses after returning the frames by mail.
Nearly a decade and hundreds of millions in revenue later, the company has announced a more high-tech and expedited version of the same process. On Monday, Warby Parker unveiled a tool that allows customers to try on frames in its app using augmented reality, a technology that superimposes computer-generated images onto real-world imagery. For example: your face on camera with various pairs of virtual Warby Parker glasses.
The company is not the first to allow customers to try on frames virtually, as the Verge noted, but it remains unique “by actually rendering the glasses in a live, 3-D preview on your face with augmented reality.”
The app uses the phone’s camera and Apple’s Face ID, which uses 30,000 invisible dots and an infrared image to create a precise copy of a customer’s face using measurements from a proprietary method the company calls “unique placement.” A photo-sharing option allows customers to enlist feedback from friends and family.
Warby Parker is calling the new tool Virtual Try-On.
“Shopping for glasses is challenging for most people,” Warby Parker co-founder and co-chief executive Dave Gilboa said in a statement emailed to The Washington Post. “It’s one of the only products you wear on your face, and slight differences in sizing or shape can have a dramatic effect on whether a frame fits well or not.”
“Virtual Try-On really changes the way you can shop for glasses — especially for customers who don’t live close to a store — and it’s inherently enjoyable to use,” the statement added.