Warby Parker's App Helps You Buy Glasses With AR Virtual Try-On Feature

Anyone who was ever tired to buy prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses online knows that it's hard to find something that looks good on your face without having the frames in your hands. A new app from Warby Parker is using augmented reality to solve the dilemma of trying on glasses without actually having the frames there to put on your dome. AR certainly hasn't taken off like Apple or Snap hoped with its Spectacles, but this virtual try-on feature in the updated Warby Parker app is very cool.

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The app uses AR to overlay glasses in whatever frame style you choose on your face. Warby Parker has offered a successful in-home try on feature where they send up to five frames to your home for you to try on at no cost. The AR version of that feature could be a viable alternative that keeps shoppers from having to wait for frames to turn up and from dealing with the hassle of returns, while saving Warby Parker money on shipping.

The company launched a similar feature in 2017, but at that time all it did was use data from 3D face maps that were grabbed by the iPhone X Face ID feature and offer frames that would "most likely fit you just right." The new AR feature is a significant improvement to that and lets the user see what the glasses would look like on their face in a live 3D preview. As the user turns their head, they can see the frames on their face from different angles.

The app is built using ARKit and True Depth to display the frames on your face virtually. There is a caveat to the new feature, to use it you must be using an iPhone X, iPhone XS, or iPhone XR. There is no support for other iPhone models or any Android devices. The updated app for those with a compatible device is available for download now.