A Comparative Guide on Virtual Try On Glasses App

So you’ve recognised the power of Virtual Glasses Try-On and decided to implement them in your sales process?

Good choice.

But there are still some decisions you have to make and getting them wrong might come with a high price tag.

App-based or web-based? Which one should you choose? The wrong choice means high costs and uncertain results and your competition gobbling up sales that should’ve been yours. 

We’re here to help you navigate that minefield. 

You’ll learn: 

  1. What a Virtual Glasses Try-On app is
  2. How do Virtual Glasses Try-On apps work?
  3. Virtual Glasses Try-On app features, cost and usability
  4. Common challenges when choosing a Virtual Glasses Try-On app
  5. Key considerations when selecting Virtual Glasses Try-On software
  6. Virtual Glasses Try-On app vs web-based systems – comparative guide

What is a Virtual Glasses Try-On app?

In a nutshell, a Virtual Glasses Try-On app is a mobile application that allows customers to try on eyeglasses to see how they would look on them in real life.

Since the birth of digital selling, online retailers selling glasses have faced the issue of customer hesitancy. 

No matter how attractive the product photos looked and no matter how attractive the models wearing the glasses, people have continued to look at the option of buying glasses online with a healthy degree of scepticism. 

And why wouldn’t they? That pair of glasses may look good on a model, but there’s no guarantee they’ll look the same way on the customer. 

That’s because, when trying out different glasses, people don’t say, “How do these glasses look?”

Instead they ask, “How do these glasses look on me?”

It’s  an important distinction to remember. 

Even the world’s most aesthetically perfect model won’t look good wearing every single pair of eyeglasses –  the same is certainly true for consumers. 

And so augmented reality (AR) came into the picture, to resolve the problems online retailers face by offering a powerful solution.

Virtual Try-On technology allows customers to try out glasses from the comfort of their homes. They get to pick a pair of glasses they like and trigger the Virtual Try-On experience. The technology starts up the front camera and the customer frames their face on the screen, as though they were taking a selfie. 

The technology then superimposes the pair of glasses over the customer’s face, allowing them to see how well the glasses fit them from every angle just as they could if they visited a retail store and examined their reflection in the mirror. 

The question is how the customer accesses the Virtual Try-On experience. There are two options available: 

  • App-based Virtual Try-On
  • Web-based Virtual Try-On

In this article we will examine Virtual Glasses Try-On apps. 

By downloading the app, customers bring the experience straight to their mobile devices. The app allows the user to browse through the company’s product page the same way they can on the company website. When customers find glasses they like, they can begin the virtual try on experience. 

Of course, the app runs into some trouble compared to its web-based alternative as it can have a much smaller reach, since most users consider the need to download an app to be a hassle they’re not interested in. 

And from the perspective of companies, building an app in-house can demand a far higher investment than a web-based Virtual Glasses Try-On experience created in partnership with an AR platform. 

How do Virtual Glasses Try-On apps work?

On the consumer’s end, Virtual Glasses Try-On apps require a mobile phone with a selfie camera. It’s as simple as that. On the company’s end, there is a bit more to take into consideration. 

Let’s look at the technical requirements and implementation in detail.

1. Technical requirements

The technical requirements are not as stringent as some might suspect. Well, at least by today’s standards. 

One technical requirement is that the user must be in the possession of a smartphone. iPhones better than iPhone 5 are all capable of running try on apps. The same goes for Android 7.0 or later. 

It should be noted that when it comes to various operating systems, Virtual Glasses Try-On apps have to be designed specifically for each operating system. 

There are a number of apps that only work on iPhones but don’t work on Android, another massive difference from web-based Virtual Glasses Try-On software which doesn’t discriminate in that regard. 

Secondly, you need a selfie camera and a working internet connection. The internet connection to gain access to all the products and the selfie camera so users can experience the virtual try on glasses experience itself. 

Sometimes, Virtual Glasses Try-On also demand that the user provide information about their pupil distance to ensure an accurate size ratio between the glasses and the user’s face, but there are certain pieces of Virtual Glasses Try-On app software that are capable of detecting the distance automatically. 

2. Practical implementation 

When it comes to the implementation of Virtual Glasses Try-On apps, the process is not too different from any other app users have downloaded many times. 

But having to download it is often seen as a hindrance. WebAR means they only have to visit a website, giving webAR a far greater reach. 

Once they have downloaded the app, they need to allow the app access to their camera.

Using the app, they can scroll through the product pages until they find a pair of glasses they like. They then have the option of ‘trying them on’. 

The selfie camera on their phone comes on. The software measures the dimensions of their face to ensure a realistic size ratio between the glasses and face. Customers can see which glasses are too small, and which ones might be too big. 

Once they are in virtual try-on mode, they can swipe the screen, change glasses without exiting the mode, and seamlessly jump between different glasses until they find the pair they like. 

Virtual Glasses Try-On features, cost and usability

1. Features 

Virtual Glasses Try-On app comes with features that include everything from browsing through product pages in search of the perfect pair of glasses to uploading prescription information and ordering contact lenses.

Customers can explore every variation of a pair of glasses, providing companies with the opportunity to showcase the full range of their products. Customers can also enjoy the benefits of personalization.

Whereas in the past, they could only personalise the products on-screen, Virtual Glasses Try-On apps now also allow them to try out the products they’ve personalised. This provides customers the option of examining how their design ideas will look in real life and make any adjustments they think necessary. 

And finally, customers can order the glasses they have chosen through the app and have them delivered to their home address, completely eliminating the need to visit a company store or website. 

2. Cost 

When it comes to the costs companies incur when developing their own apps, the figures differ. There are no hard figures we can work with, only estimates based on the company’s demands. 

Basic demo apps can cost around $10,000 dollars, while custom-built apps can cost upward of $300,000 and take almost a year to develop – and investments on that scale do not  guarantee results. Companies often spend a long time developing their Virtual Glasses Try-On app, but by the time they’re ready to launch, their AR technology has already fallen behind the technology of the market. 

Furthermore, the initial investment into the development of the app does not represent the entire cost. Companies need to have a team of developers on their payroll all the time in order to update and upgrade their apps. 

By comparison, working with an AR partner like Plattar to develop web-based Virtual Glasses Try-On software means paying a low monthly subscription.

In return, companies get a guaranteed market-leading AR solution that is far more accessible than app-based virtual try-on. Instead of spending nine months developing the app, working with an AR platform means that the Virtual Glasses Try-On software can be up and running in a matter of weeks. 

3. Usability 

Virtual Glasses Try-On apps often have more features than their web-based alternatives as they can take advantage of the phone’s hardware to a fuller extent while the performance of web-based virtual try on glasses software can be limited by the speed of the internet. 

That won’t be the case for much longer, of course, as the technology is developing rapidly due to how popular web-based AR solutions have become, meaning the gap between the two options is shrinking daily. 

Common challenges when choosing a Virtual Glasses Try-On

1. Realism

Ensuring users get a realistic experience of Virtual Glasses Try-On apps is one of the linchpins of the entire project. 

Companies must do everything in their power to ensure that the glasses look exactly as they might in real life. Much like overly-obvious CGI in movies can take away from the audience’s experience, the lack of realism in virtual try-on can have the same effect. 

That means companies must have access to photorealistic 3D renderings or the success of the entire project becomes questionable. 

Furthermore, AR platforms like Plattar, with hundreds of projects under their belt, have begun to innovate in numerous ways, including taking realism to the point where they ensure the tips of the glasses are not visible, hidden under the user’s hair or behind their ears. 

It is details like these that end up making all the difference. 

2. Performance

The overall app must work flawlessly if a company is to reap the benefits of its implementation. That means that every feature must work without a glitch. 

That means virtual try-on experiences that must run smoothly when examining product variations or selecting configurations. 

It is important to remember that for many, this is still a relatively new technology they haven’t encountered yet. And even those who encountered it might still be somewhat sceptical. 

It is for that reason that companies must ensure their apps run without any issues because their users might head for greener pastures at the first sign of lagging, or any other problems.

3. Tracking

When we talk about tracking, we’re mainly referring to the ability of virtual try on glasses apps to follow the head movements of the user. 

Anyone who has ever stood in front of a mirror in a retail store, trying on a pair of glasses, has moved around to examine how the glasses look on them from every angle. 

Virtual Glasses Try-On software must be capable of delivering the same result. The software must keep up with the user’s movements to accurately position the product, or the entire experience loses its power. 

Key considerations when selecting Virtual Glasses Try-On software

1. Ease of integration

For a company that wants to create the best Virtual Glasses Try-On app in-house, the challenges that come with integrating the experience into their existing business processes are considerable. 

There is the question of putting together a team of developers that create the app in the first place. Then companies need to establish a process for turning their products into 3D models. These have to be continuously added to the established inventory of AR-enabled products. 

And once the developers have created the app, the team needs to be kept on board as they have to keep updating and upgrading the experience. Failure to do so means that your virtual try on glass app will swiftly fall behind the competition. 

It’s one great hassle and an unnecessary one. Especially when you consider the ease with which AR platforms can be integrated into a company’s business process. 

Instead of spending ridiculous amounts of money on a team of developers, they pay a small monthly subscription. In exchange, companies don’t have to create an entire 3D pipeline – no, they get to upload, manage and publish their virtual try on experiences from the same platform.

2. Required investment

In-house creation of Virtual Glasses Try-On apps can come at a very high price – as we mentioned earlier, the numbers can go up to $300,000 and more. 

And to top it all off, the massive investment doesn’t offer any guarantees of success. The company doesn’t only have to create a Virtual Glasses Try-On app, it needs to create a team of developers that will innovate and improve upon existing technologies. 

Think of it like Formula 1. You can duplicate  the car of another racing team used last year, but if you don’t have the know-how and the expertise to improve upon it, you will be left in the dust. 

This is where AR platforms come into the picture. You pay a low monthly subscription but you get your own race team. You get the experts, the people who’ve done this hundreds of times, and they guarantee that you will have a market-leading Virtual Glasses Try-On app. 

3. Speed of implementation and scalability

AR platforms are once again the clear favourite in this area. Creating a Virtual Glasses Try-On app can take up to 9 months

That’s what we meant when we said your technology might fall behind the market by the time you launch your app. 

With an AR platform, on the other hand, your virtual try on experience might be up and running in a matter of weeks. 

And since AR platforms offer an end-to-end process, it makes the entire process infinitely easier to scale.

Virtual Try on Glasses App vs Web-Based Systems – Comparative Guide

Take a look at this handy comparative guide.

InvestmentHundreds of thousands of dollarsLow monthly subscription
Time of ImplementationUp to one yearIn a matter of weeks
PerformanceBetter performanceLimited performance
ReachLimitedFar greater potential
ScalabilityVery difficultIncredibly easy

Virtual Glasses Try-On solutions are the answer

Virtual Glasses Try-On apps are proven to be a powerful solution for any company looking to future-proof its business and stand ready to tackle the shifts in the eCommerce landscape. 

Virtual Glasses Try-On apps have the potential to:

  • Increase sales
  • Increase customer confidence
  • Reduce returns
  • Increase the reach of ad campaigns

But as you’ve learned in this article, the decision about which software to choose is far from simple. Companies have to juggle costs, features, and timetables in order to find a solution that best suits their business. 

If you want to learn more about the opportunities to partner with an AR platform and explore web-based virtual try-on solutions, contact Plattar today and request a demo.