The other day I was checking out Bonlook's website and I noticed something interesting when I clicked “Virtual Try-On.” Bonlook provides 2 different options for Virtual Try-On for glasses.
First there is the Upload My Photo option on the right which allows you to upload a picture of yourself. You can then use this picture to virtually try-on different frames and see how they look on your face. Most online glasses stores offer this option and and you typically must enter your pupiliary distance (PD) to make sure the glasses are placed and spaced correctly in the photo (or selfie). This can be hard for most people so they do not bother measuring their PD or uploading a photo. Therefore they won't enjoying buying eyeglasses and sunglasses online and saving a ton of money.
The other option Bonlook provides was on the left Use My Webcam and I thought “What is that? I clicked on and… well I was F#$@ing blown away.
Apparently this Webcam Virtual Try-On option uses your webcam to automatically place the glasses frames on your face. It uses some sort of facial recognition technology to work. No photo uploading or PD measuring by you is required to do this. It is extremely seamless, easy, and really helps you determine how the glasses look. Checkout this picture of me trying out the Bonlook Virtual Try-On tool with my Webcam.
Looks like I actually have glasses on right? Those are virtual glasses.
This is Bonlook's ace up it's sleeve, so to speak, in the competitive online glasses industry. I am not entirely sure how this Virtual Try-On for glasses works it must have taken a lot of time and effort to launch it. With facial recognition technology advancing though it's a no-brainier for an online glasses retailer like Bonlook to implement this and offer it to customers. Since one of the co-founders, Louis Felix Boulanger, used to work as a software engineer I guess he must have used his experience and expertise to build this Virtualy Try-On tool for Bonlook.
For anyone that has ordered glasses online, you can probably remember the first time you did it. It's not a straightforward process because well… generally getting a current eye prescription from an eye doctor and then buying glasses through a local optical store is confusing enough. Once you do know how to buy glasses online it is easy as eating cake.
The great thing about Bonlook's Webcam Virtual Try-On is that it is extremely seamless and easy. If your computer or laptop has a webcam you can use this virtual try-on. Boom, you are trying on different glasses. It is just that simple. The real question is why hasn't this been more widely known about? Why haven't competitors, such as Warby Parker, launched a similar tool?
Could be something to do with the fact that Bonlook is based in Quebec, Canada where they speak French. Most of the interviews and press I've seen about Bonlook is in French. I also doubt competitors spend much time actually looking at Bonlook's website and features.
For those that are apprehensive about how the glasses frames will fit and feel ordering online is too difficult, I'll start referring them to Bonlook. I'll encourage them to use the Webcam Virtual Try-On since it takes all the friction and hassle out of uploading a photo. The tool is that compelling and I have even ordered from Bonlook, yet. You know if the glasses look good or don't pretty much. It is a compelling reason to order through them over a competitor.
The other nice thing about Bonlook's webcam virtual try-on feature is that you do not need to be logged into an account to use it. On some of these online glasses shops they want you to sign-up for an account before uploading a photo. A hassle for a casual browser that might turn into a customer.
I'm curios to hear what OpticalOwl readers and fans think. Go try the Bonlook Virtual Try-On with your webcam and leave a comment below and let me know what you thought about it. As far as I can see it should work with mostly any eyeglasses or sunglasses frames on the site for men and women. Pick a pair and give it a spin.
Were you as impressed with it as I was? Do you think it takes the friction out of buying glasses online and wondering whether they will look good?