Warby Parker's 'Virtual Try-On' Feature Uses Augmented Reality, Is Extremely Cool
The only thing worse than going to the dentist is going to the eye doctor. You have to sit through a grueling eye exam just to find out that you’re due for a new pair of specs. Before you know it, it’s hours later and you’ve tried on hundreds (OK, maybe more like 20 or 30) pairs of glasses just to find the right ones. The entire process can take a lot of time out of your day, and if we're bring honest, we don’t have that much patience. Warby Parker feels our pain, apparently. The company just released a new version of its app, and it includes a sweet Virtual Try-On feature using augmented reality.
The feature allows users to try on glasses virtually before they buy. The company already has an option where you can physically test out five pairs of glasses—sent right to your door, free of cost. The app allows buyers to skip the wait and try on virtual glasses directly from their phones.
So, how does it work? Once the Warby Parker app is downloaded, all you have to do is pick the frames you’d like to test out, and the glasses suddenly appear on your face. If you're familiar with how Snapchat filters work, it's similar to that. From there, you can slide through the options to see how each pair looks. It's a cool idea, as it allows buyers not only to see how the glasses would look before they buy, but also to test out any number of glasses instead of the typical five they'd receive through the mail. Plus, there's no wait time and no need to mail anything back.
There is one catch: According to Engadget, this feature is only available for iPhones with a TrueDepth camera, since it uses face-mapping technology. So, if you’re stuck using an iPhone 5, sorry, this version only works for the iPhone X or newer.
The Washington Post had some comments from Warby Parker on the feature:
“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.
The Try-On feature had a lot of great responses from end-users. One Twitter user commented, “Love it! The future of retail.”
Love it! The future of retail
— Amanda Reekie 🇿🇦 (@moozir) February 5, 2019
Another posted to Instagram saying, “This is beyond brilliant. Luxury, ease of shopping, and affordability. Well done, @warbyparker.”
This kind of tech could have some cool applications for the promo industry if it ever becomes more widely available. Imagine the potential to wow a client or prospect with wearable virtual samples of hundreds or thousands of different items? And it could work for more than just glasses—T-shirts, hats, lanyards, you name it. Eventually, with advances in augmented reality, there's a good chance you’ll be able to try on anything virtually.