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Warby Parker starts virtual try-on using Augmented Reality

Warby Parker is becoming a part of the increasing group of retailers using augmented reality (AR) so that the consumers can try on its glasses virtually. This is a fresh step for a brand that was founded in 2010 and has allowed shoppers to sample glasses physically at home ever since.

Senior director of e-commerce and consumer insights, Erin Collins, told Tech Crunch that the opening of AR capability brought forward technical challenges and several revisions. He added that another problem was ensuring the frame pictures looked photo-realistic, which required 3D artists to render the images digitally and make numerous revisions to get perfect pixels on each frame.

According to TechCrunch, Warby Parker is using Apple’s ARKit and it is available on the brand’s iOS app only for the latest iOS products like the iPhone X or newer models.

Avionos President, Scott Webb said that Warby Parker has always regulated itself as a deluxe brand that is highly customised. He said that the company has established itself as a direct-to-consumer brand and kept out of the conventional retail environment of glasses. He added that the company’s approach is steady and compatible with the trends of linking offline and online channels incorporating VR and AR capabilities.

Warby Parker

According to TechCrunch, the company had implemented virtual try-on on the website, before removing it shortly.

CMO of Elastic Path Darin Archer said that augmented reality is a standard feature which needs to be taken advantage of by any e-commerce team. His statement also included him buying a living room rug after seeing how it looks on his floor with his furniture. He said it is going to feel as good as reviews and ratings in the next few years.

According to Co-Founder and CTO of Apptimize, Nancy Hua, feature flagging and testing is essential in the releasing and validation of AR/VR features, both in terms of technicality and ROI.

Hua said that A/B testing can be used by Warby Parker to determine the effect on app engagement and on their most important factor as it is probably a more engaging and efficient buying experience. She also said that brands who are evolving and considering mobile technologies first should invest in trending practices in the mobile industry.

The AR technology built by Warby Parker takes the help of a proprietary algorithm to set virtual frames on the face of the users. This technology also lets the users take a screenshot and share it in order to acquire feedback on the frames.

Webb called it the next evolution and said that the probable targets are the consumers who shopped at Warby Parker and have an idea about it.

We will keep on seeing similar kind of experimentation this year as numerous brands are incorporating VR and AR into their business. We are stepping into the next generation of commerce which is regarding natural interface and human-powered commerce. – Scott Webb

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