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Warby Parker leverages Face ID to let you try glasses on virtually

AR lets you try before you buy.

Warby parker ar glasses on ios app
Image: Warby Parker

We’ve all bought at least one pair of glasses that we hated when we got home. Maybe they looked different on the shelf, in the store’s lighting, or maybe you didn’t realize that they pinched your nose in an annoying way. If you bought your frames online, that’s just the start of your problems, as you can’t even try them on before purchasing.

Warby Parker sells glasses direct-to-consumer, so it was time for a radical rethink of the process. They started letting you try up to five frames at home before purchasing, letting you wear them wherever you normally would.

Now, the company is looking to AR and specifically, the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X, XR, and XS. Using the face-mapping tech that normally powers Face ID, Warby Parker’s app scans your face and puts a one-to-one virtual pair of specs onto your head.

AR continues to find its way into online shopping

AR-based overlays have been around for a while, whether it’s on Snapchat or pretty much any video-calling app nowadays. The tech powering them is inaccurate though, so while it might show enough to give you an idea, it’s not close enough to know if a pair of glasses would fit.

The TrueDepth camera coupled with Apple’s ARKit development platform for iOS makes it so Warby Parker (and anyone else who cares to) can show you how you’ll look in real life.

Having a virtual try-on feature like this also means more choice for the consumer. Look at any opticians and you’ll only see a selection of the thousands of frames on the market – there just isn’t enough floor space to house one of every style.

The update is coming for iOS users of the Warby Parker app starting today. If you’re an Android user, well you’re out of luck (until someone creates an Android handset with a proper face scanner).

What do you think? Plan on trying the feature out? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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