Do you miss the time when we, poor-sight people, used to be called ‘four-eyed’? No? Me neither. Luckily, today glasses are not a medical utility only. Millennials have a frame per every occasion whereas older gens hunt for top brands to show off.
In a world where glasses cost even more than a Ferrari, we, four-eyed, can sigh with relief. Glasses are cool. Glasses are trendy. More glasses, please!
Eyewear brands are now going all out for consumers. Some seduce us with home try on option and free returns. Others entice with virtual glasses try on apps that are better than just free. They are hassle-free. With them, you can nail down your perfect frame in seconds without stepping into a store.
Wondering how do they work? Let's see.
The concept of virtual try on glasses
You know Snapchat and its fancy filters, right? The face tracking technology paired with augmented reality allows you putting on a doggy nose, ears or whatever.
Virtual try-on apps for glasses utilize the same technologies. But instead of fancy, the experience can be called a hyper-realistic Snapchat filter. It features only you and 3D objects that look like the real-world ones — in colour, shape and size.
This way you, as a consumer, can use your smartphone as a mirror to visualize eyewear. No need for going in stores. Wasting hours picking dozens of glasses while looking for your perfect frame. Talking to consultants who… well, at least in my case, are not helping at all.
Virtual try on glasses experience done through the mirror phone, and in real-time, feels very natural. Amazing, isn’t it? But have this concept come to reality? I browsed the web and app store to see if top eyewear brands are keeping up. Here are the most popular ones.
Best virtual glasses try on apps of 2019
#1. Glasses.com Virtual Try On
Online platform for glasses owned by Luxottica, the world's largest company in the eyewear industry. At Glasses.com you can choose among over 1,100 glasses from the most popular glasses brands, e.g. Armani, Burberry, Oakley, Ralph Lauren, and Versace.
What makes Glasses.com a unique retailer platform is its three-dimensional virtual try-on technology. You can access it via a mobile device or tablet (iOS only).
Technology behind Glasses.com virtual try on
The app uses facial mapping software to record left-to-right 180° face view and overlay 3D frames. Technology places the model of glasses virtually over a 3D rendering of the user's face automatically. But you can also adjust the position of glasses - slide you virtual glasses down your nose.
- extensive frame choice
- all popular brands listed
- need to create an account
- no real-time virtual try on experience
- iOS only
#2. Eyeconic.com Glasses Online Try on
US-based retailer of eyewear including prescription glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. Similar to Glasses.com, the Eyeconic.com platform features frames from most popular glasses brands. With its web virtual glasses try on service, visitors can pick frames based on actual look and fit.
Technology behind Eyeconic virtual try on glasses
The website prompts it’s just 2 steps to enable the virtual try-on feature. In reality? They are 4. Besides, it takes some time for the service to load. To get it working you need to:
- Allow access to your webcam
- Find proper light fitting your face in the circle
- Record a video. While recording the screen guides you with proper face movements.
- Take a photo with a plastic card on your forehead.
Done? Now you can enjoy the glasses a machine has chosen for you and buy it straight away if you're happy with the choice. Or continue browsing for other frames.
- Once you recorded the video you can continue browsing the site and pick more glasses to try on. Your 180-degree view with the selected frames appears automatically.
- Realistic glasses representation
- Poor webcam resolution spoils the picture
- Recording your gif-like video is a quest. And…honestly, a photo with a plastic card? On a forehead? That's techNOlogy.
#3. Ray-Ban Virtual Try On Glasses
Ray-Ban glasses brand is historically known for its iconic Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses. With Ray-Ban’s mobile app for virtual glasses try on, you can try on and view frames from any angle.
Technology behind Ray-Ban virtual try on app
You need to create a virtual model of your face using your mobile camera. The model is paired with Ray-Ban virtual frames, creating an interactive photo-realistic image. You can share this image with friends or buy directly from the app.
- Virtual glasses can be scaled to your face
- No real-time experience
- Users report not all frames are featured in the app
- No updates since 2015
#4. Warby Parker Glasses App with Face Scanning
American online retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses. A relatively young brand, Warby Parker has already claimed a prominent spot in the eyewear market due to its "Home-Try-On program". You can pick up to 5 frames to try on at home for five days. Free of charge and with pre-paid return shipping.
Warby Parker Glasses app scans your face and recommends best-fit frames. And you can get them shipped to your home for testing.
Technology behind Warby Parker
You get your facial features measured to find the frames that suit you best. The app extracts your face shape via the iPhone X scanner and recommends your best frames.
Unlike the apps and platforms, listed above, Warby Parker app doesn’t show how glasses look on you. Face scanning feels like a nifty doodah rather than a handy feature. However, since the app focuses on a customer’s face, it’s a great step towards providing a personalized shopping experience.
- Personalized glasses recommendations made automatically
- Complemented by home try-on service. You can order the glasses you like right from the app and return them without any costs.
- No real-time try-on experience
5 insights on today’s virtual try on glasses solutions
1. Virtual glasses try ons available on mobile are short in numbers. They are limited to one platform (iOS) and work fine only on top-level devices. What about those who are on $100 Androids? Tough luck.
2. As for the web, there’re many web platforms that offer virtual glasses try ons. So, brands understand all the benefits that virtual try on implies. But.
3. The problem with most web glasses try ons is that the experience doesn’t feel as natural as in real life. You need to record videos, take or upload photos. From a consumer point of view, it creates friction.
4. Also, it's hard to enjoy your look when trying on glasses virtually on the web. The camera distortion spoils all the fun.
5. Most online tools use a webcam or photo upload to overlay virtual glasses. But a picture is a picture and it doesn't give you the feeling of wearing your glasses. Real-time experience available right from your pocket — does.
Real-time virtual try on glasses on mobile
Here at Banuba, we’ve developed the technology of . By opening the app, consumers can pick the frames and see them straight on their face. Face detection and tracking technologies paired with AR provide the real-time experience that works as a mirror.
Moreover, we’ve invested time and efforts in the rendering capabilities for true-to-life glasses representation. The 3D glasses look super real not only in colors and shapes but behaviour too. It can throw shadows or provide the effect of glass shine. If you move closer to the camera, virtual glasses adjust accordingly based on your face position.
- real-time experience
- no prior photo upload or video recording needed
- realistic glasses representation
- cross-platform availability
- can be integrated into an existing app
4 reasons to invest in virtual try on for glasses
Save on shipping & returns
Try-on at home is a great way to hook customers. But the shipping costs makes brands lose profit. Virtual glasses try-on not only saves on return shipping costs. But also allow brands to help customers to find a perfect pair.
Brands are facing tough competition in glasses markets. While virtual glasses try on apps are still a novice, businesses can jump into the wave. The technology is already mature enough to enable quality experience. And the market of augmented commerce has matured for its adoption.
The best marketing is the one that costs you nothing. With virtual glasses try on app you can try on a hundred items at the comfort of your home. By simply swiping the icons of your mobile screen. And with an option to take a photo and share with friends, brands advertise by-word-of-mouth.
Appeal to millennials
Millennials are the most important consumer type for most businesses. The largest generation in American history with an estimated spending power of around $10 trillion over their lifetimes. They are obsessed with technology. And the selfie-based experience powered with AR appeals to them more than to any other generation.
Virtual glasses try on apps have the full potential to become the next big thing in e-commerce. They relieve much of the stress of going into a store and physically try on different frames. They save consumers’ time and brands’ budget, serving as a cost-effective yet same convenient alternative for glasses home try on.
Most importantly, it makes choosing frames we'll love as easy as watching in the mirror.