TECHNOLOGY

Warby Parker offers a new way to try on glasses—virtually

BY Dan Berthiaume

Warby Parker is turning to augmented reality to create a brick-and-mortar-type of experience online for consumers.

The specialty eyewear retailer is making a new feature called “Virtual Try-On” available in the Warby Parker mobile app on iPhone X, XR, and XS devices. Inside the app, 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.

Customers have the option to select frames for delivery for home try-on, save them to look at again later, or purchase in the app. Virtual Try-On uses Apple Face ID technology and a proprietary algorithm to create AR images of frames that mimic the customer’s unique 3D facial curvature, as well as the frame’s texture, color, size and fit.

As augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies continue evolving, they are becoming a more popular means of personalizing online shopping. AR and VR are especially useful to create a more store-like customer experience for items where factors like size and color, as well as fit to unique consumer circumstances, are crucial. For example, Amazon has been piloting a feature called Amazon Showroom, which enables shoppers to place realistic 3D images of home furnishings into a virtual living room, giving customers a better sense of how they would look.

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