Warby Parker uses augmented reality to allow customers to virtually try-on glasses

By Laura Mullan
Online glasses and sunglasses retailer, Warby Parker, has launched a new “virtual try-on” feature that allows customers to preview glasses using aug...

Online glasses and sunglasses retailer, Warby Parker, has launched a new “virtual try-on” feature that allows customers to preview glasses using augmented reality (AR).

The technology utilises the iPhone selfie camera as well as Apple’s ARkit and Tue Depth technology. Therefore, it is only available for customers who own an iPhone X, XR or XS.  

In doing so, it allows Warby Parker's customers to realistically visualise how certain frames, textures and colours will look like on their face by using accurate measurements and a method it calls “unique placement”.

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The New York City-based firm said that its "placement algorithm mimics the real-life process of placing a pair of frames on your face, taking into account how your unique facial features interact with the frame”.

This means that the glasses will stay fixed in place if you tilt your head and will even show the way the light filters through a pair of acetate frames, for example.

Warby Parker is a direct-to-consumer eyeglass brand which allows customers to try on glasses at home. Customers can choose five frames from Warby Parker's website and the company posts them for free, allowing customers to wear the loaned glasses briefly before committing to a purchase.

“Shopping for glasses is challenging for most people. 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," said Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa in a press release

‘Virtual try-on’ has become a fast-growing trend in the e-commerce world.

In 2017, IKEA used Apple's ARKit to develop a similar app which allows customers to see what furniture would look like in their homes.

In a similar vein, cosmetic brands such as L’Oreal, Cover Girl and Sephora have also developed ‘virtual try on’ services for makeup.

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