Electronic devices let patients ‘try on’ frames simply by standing in front of a screen, swiping and selecting.
Virtual try on technologies are prevalent on our personal devices, enabling us to see how we look in a variety of frames using our smartphones, tablets or computer screens. Now, that capability is available for the optical shop, where larger digital screens can act as both promotional billboards as well as electronic frame boards.
The simple process of virtually trying on eyeglasses in person is extremely user friendly. A three-dimensional image of a pair of frames suddenly appears on a live streaming video of someone’s face the moment that person steps in front of the screen. By automatically measuring the person’s facial dimensions, including pupillary distance, the sizing and location of the frames are accurately represented on the screen in the same way they would be positioned in reality. They stay in place even as the user moves around, so the customer can see how the frame will look on their face from all angles.
SMART DISPLAY KIOSK
Available in the U.S. through ABS, Inc. of Miami, the Smart Display Kiosk is an in-person virtual try-on device that evolved through the combination of technologies that were already available from parent company Acep of Paris. The company already offered the Smart Mirror, an in-store solution for opticians that automatically measures patients for progressive lenses and that also demonstrates features such as polarization, anti-reflective coatings and other lens add-ons. Nearly three years ago, Acep acquired Total Immersion, a leader in the field of augmented reality. Combining these technologies enabled the company to develop Smart Display virtual try-on.
Prior to its use in a stand-alone kiosk, the Smart Display virtual try-on technology was first developed for smartphones and laptop screens with cameras. Working directly from within an ecommerce platform (no need to download an app) the Smart Display recognizes and tracks a human face and overlaps a 3D image of a frame onto it. The 3D image of the frame stays in place on the person’s face even as they move around.
Now, the Smart Display Kiosk brings this virtual try-on technology to the optical shop using much larger screens that customers can interact with in person. Already in use in Europe by a pop-up store opened by an ecommerce eyewear company, the Smart Display Kiosk will be introduced later this year at both Vision Expo West and Silmo.
As soon as a person steps in front of the screen, the device recognizes that it is a human face and can even determine the person’s gender. Using this information, the Smart Display automatically overlays a pair of frames appropriately sized and positioned onto the person’s face, selecting from among its electronic catalog of men’s and women’s frames. The user can then choose other frames to “try on” by swiping through them on the bottom of the screen.
Because people tend to enlist others for their opinions when selecting frames, the user can take pictures of how they look “wearing” these frames and share them with family or friends via email, social media or QR code.
The device’s ability to recognize gender can be used for promotional purposes as well as for frame selection. If it notices a woman or a man walking by, it can select gender-appropriate ads, videos or other electronic billboard promos to display on the screen.
In addition to being able to determine a user’s gender, Smart Display will also soon be able to recognize a person’s age to within about five years, according to Acep’s business development manager, Julien Pierrard. This feature can also be used for promotional purposes. For example, progressive lenses can be promoted when an individual over 40 years old walks by, or youthful frame styles can be displayed when someone in their 20s is recognized.
To grab the attention of foot traffic walking past your store, Fitting Box offers OWIZ Street, an interactive storefront window that allows passersby to virtually try on frames in 3D from outside the optical shop. Fitting Box suggests that opticians use OWIZ Street to showcase selected brands in an original way by advertising 24/7 and providing an immersive experience for shoppers to remember.
The device invites passersby to “approach the window; try on our glasses,” and as they do a 3D image of a pair of frames pops onto the live video of their face. By visiting a website indicated on the screen and entering a specific code, users can use their smartphone as a remote to control the screen and select different frames to appear on their face. They can then take pictures and share them via email or social media.
According to Fitting Box, passersby spend two minutes in front of the window during each try-on session, and on average 400 people stop at the storefront window each month, including 53% during closing time.
For inside the store, the OWIZ Mirror from Fitting Box is a virtual mirror that allows users to virtually try on an entire frame catalog at the touch of a finger. Realistic renderings of their chosen frames appear on their face via webcam live streaming or a photo upload. As with all of these interactive virtual try-on devices, customers can access styles and colors even if they’re not currently in stock, and they can share selfies for feedback from friends and relatives.
Now, with the Lens Simulator add-on from Fitting Box, they can try out recommended lens prescriptions and treatments at the same time, making their try-on as true-to-life as possible.