Warby Parker's new shopping tool lets you try on and buy glasses virtually using your iPhone's camera

Warby Parker
  • Warby Parker is launching a new tool inside its app for iPhone users: Virtual Try-on – users can test out different frames in different colours without having to go to a retail store or mail away for a test pair.
  • It also includes a photo-sharing option, in case you’d like to get expert opinion from friends and family, as well as a proprietary placement algorithm that it says can account for the curvature of a real face.
  • The feature launches Feb. 4 to all users with iPhone X, iPhone XR, or iPhone XS/XS Max.

Warby Parker announced a new shopping tool to make trying on glasses more convenient for iPhone owners: Virtual Try-on.

The tool, which lives inside the glasses-by-mail company’s app, is available February 4th. The caveat is that you’ll need an iPhone X, iPhone XR, or iPhone XS to take advantage – sorry to anybody rocking an older iPhone.

By taking advantage of the newer iPhones’ selfie camera, and Apple’s ARkit augmented reality technology, the tool makes it easier for Warby Parker customers to realistically visualise how certain frames, textures, and colours will look on their face by using accurate measurements and a proprietary method it calls “unique placement.”

In a press release, Warby Parker said its “placement algorithm mimics the real-life process of placing a pair of frames on your face, taking into account how your unique facial features interact with the frame.”

Once you find a frame you like, you can click to buy it right on the app. But if you are still unsure, the tool also includes a photo-sharing option, so you can get the opinions of friends and family.

“Shopping for glasses is challenging for most people. 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,” said Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa in a press release.

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