An augmented reality spectacle

For some time, I’ve been thinking about getting a new pair of glasses. Nothing wrong with my current pair from the vision point of view, you understand; it’s just that, well, they’re a bit passé 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 didn’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 – which you install on your own computer and use in conjunction with your webcam – 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 don’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.

That’s how I’d model glasses if I went into an opticians. If you have a Windows PC, you can try the app for yourself, or check this video on YouTube to see how it works.

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.

It’s another neat example of a practical use for a technology that’s gaining increasing attention.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Adam Cleaver

    Great list. I also really like the Lego Augmented Reality box that allows you to see the fully built lego construction before actually puting the pieces together. I think that’s the trick with AR – it has to be useful not a gimmick.

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