Feb. 13, 2019
The Warby Parker app now includes a “virtual try-on” feature, which lets customers preview what glasses would look like on them using augmented reality, according to reporting by Arielle Pardes in Wired.
The way it works is simple: Download the app, choose a pair of frames, then swipe down to activate “virtual try-on,” which opens the front-facing camera and maps the glasses onto your face. The glasses stay fixed in place as you turn and tilt your head, and even show the way light filters through a pair of acetate frames or shines on metal details.
Dave Gilboa, Warby Parker’s co-founder and co-CEO, told Pardes that a virtual try-on feature has been on the brand’s road map since the company was launched nine years ago. “We’ve been patiently waiting for technology to catch up with our vision for what that experience could look like,” Gilboa says, explaining that the Apple iPhone X provided the technology Warby Parker was waiting for.
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The iPhone X TrueDepth camera projects a mesh of 30,000 infrared dots onto a person’s face, creating a 3D model of their facial topography. That made it possible for developers to build apps that modeled the actual fit of wearable products. For this reason, the new virtual try-on app is only available for iOS operating systems, meaning just Apple devices.
“Virtual try-on” is designed to reach more potential customers. The app also includes social sharing features, built to mimic the behavior from the company’s showrooms. “We’ve observed that in our stores, where people often come in with their friends or family members,” Gilboa says. “People will often take selfies and text those photos or post them to social media to get feedback.”