For some time, Iâ€™ve been thinking about getting a new pair of glasses. Nothing wrong with my current pair from the vision point of view, you understand; itâ€™s just that, well, theyâ€™re a bit passÃ© now fashion wise.
So over the weekend, I tried on over a dozen pairs of potential new glasses to get a sense of style, how they looked, etc. And I didnâ€™t move an inch outside my house, doing all this on my desktop PC with a pretty neat augmented reality application from Glasses Direct called the Virtual Mirror.
With this tool â€“ which you install on your own computer and use in conjunction with your webcam â€“ you can model in real time any or all the glasses offered by Glasses Direct using you as the live model (or, if you prefer or donâ€™t have a webcam, you can use a built-in video of a Glasses Direct model).
What I especially like about this app is the realism in how it can sense the position of my head as I turn it which was reflected almost seamlessly in how the glasses appeared on my face, changing perspective as I moved my head, so I could see how the glasses looked from almost any angle.
Glasses Direct have embraced modern web technologies with great gusto as part of their direct-sales business model. So offering a tool via a computer to try out glasses is nothing new for them.
Augmented reality is, though. According to the program credits, the app is built by French software developer FittingBox.
Itâ€™s another neat example of a practical use for a technology thatâ€™s gaining increasing attention.