TECHNOLOGY

GlassesUSA adds twist to popular virtual try-on trend

BY Dan Berthiaume

GlassesUSA is providing artificial intelligence-based visual search and a “virtual mirror” to its mobile shopping experience.

The online eyewear retailer has introduced Pic & Pair, a visual search feature in its mobile app that enables customers to upload or take an image of any pair of glasses. The search will show results with identical and/or similar products matching its visual description.

The Pic & Pair search engine runs on artificial intelligence (AI) technology based on a deep tagging solution. This application uses visual AI to assign detailed textual tags GlassesUSA’s inventory of over 10,000 frames using only the product image. Once customers find their match, they can see how their favorite pair would look on them using an augmented reality (AR)-based “virtual mirror” tool.

GlassesUSA launched Pic & Pair after analysis of its existing search function revealed that customers who used it spent six times longer on the site and were five times more likely to convert to purchase than those who didn’t use the search at all. Pic & Pair is accessible on the retailer’s site via any mobile device, and by clicking on the search bar the camera icon will appear. GlassesUSA plans to allow desktop visual search in the near future.

“On their day-to-day, customers are confronted with the most unimaginable quantity of products both online and offline,” said GlassesUSA CEO and co-founder Daniel Rothman. “Moreso, often they have a clear idea of what they want, but have no clue how to look for it or describe it. This innovation has simplified and shortened the process by working bottom-up and having them show us what they want while we search it for them.”

Digital eyewear retailers are increasingly turning to AR and virtual reality (VR) to eliminate the need to visit a physical store to obtain a custom frame fitting. Zenni Optical offers a virtual try-on feature that provides customers a realistic preview of Zenni glasses on their face using a 3D 180-degree mobile scan of their face and a facial analysis tool.

Warby Parker also offers customers a virtual try-on tool. Inside the Warby Parker app on select iPhone devices, customers can put their smartphone camera into selfie mode to get a digital view of themselves. Shoppers can then select frames and use AR graphics to place them on the image of their face to see how they look.

And Fitz Frames, which designs and manufactures eyewear frames for individual children, lets mobile customers select frame shapes and colors and virtually try on frame options using advanced facial mapping to take accurate measurements from in-app photographs.

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