Online shopping is quickly becoming the way that many of us look for and evaluate various products*, but there has always been a disconnect between trying something out in the store and viewing it online. In my Augmented Reality Post, I suggested that watches could be one of the first products to benefit from a virtual showroom to help bridge the gap between viewing and actually trying out a product, but I’ve since found out that Ray-Ban is already using augmented reality to demo their products with the Ray-Ban Virtual Mirror!
The technology behind the Virtual Mirror, called FIT3D Live, is made by a company called FittingBox, and according to them, they want to be “the driving force behind this digital revolution which will dramatically change the optical industry”. They’ve also found a way to track your face without the need for an augmented reality tracking marker, so existing reference points (eyes, nose, ears) are apparently enough to place and move the sunglasses in real time.
The end result is a rather fluid experience that accurately replicates the experience of trying on a pair of sunglasses, and it definitely validates the idea that augmented reality could soon replace in-store visits as the way that we evaluate many products.
- Uses existing technology, and doesn’t require any special tracking marker.
- Allows a user to quickly try on any pair of sunglasses that Ray-Ban makes, eliminating the chance that the desired product is out of stock.
- Needs to be downloaded as an application, rather than just running within a web browser.
- Only works on Windows, and requires a newer computer.
- Located on a Flash website, so the specific program can’t be bookmarked, shared or linked to.
- Augmented reality allows you to virtually experience a number of products, bringing the in-store experience to your home on your time.
*According to Nielsen, more than 85% of the world’s online population has used the Internet to make a purchase.