Interactive Annual 20:
Glasses.com for iPad
Set-up was an intense process, but I was impressed
with the accuracy of the results.
Magical. This app takes the art of the digital
sunglass purchase to a level well beyond anything Ive ever
Try before you buyits what
every consumer wants, but typically forfeits in the age of online
shopping. Eyewear retailer Glasses.com set out to solve this problem
with an app that lets a shopper view thousands of frames rendered on
their face instantly in 3-D. Using the iPad camera to photograph a face
and then build a 3-D model, the app provides an exceptionally realistic
virtual fitting that lets users turn their heads to view the
frames from any angle.
- • This project took two years to produce, with
technology ranging from augmented reality to digital animation with
cinema-class effects gathered from across the globe.
- • Australias national science agency (CSIRO) provided
the key technology, Smart Vision, which uses algorithms to turn 2-D
images from a mobile camera into a 3-D model.
- • Social tools let shoppers share views of themselves in their
favorite glasses on Facebook and Twitter, and use polls to let friends
help them pick the best pair.
Comments by Bruce Christy:
There were many
challenges with such an ambitious project. First, virtually rendered
video frames had to incorporate a full inventory of 3-D-modeled
eyeglasses placed on a model of the users face thats
generated on the fly. Reflections, lighting, shading and complex
occlusion masks (such as the part of the eyeglasses not visible behind
the nose as the face turns) all had to be synchronously implemented.
Next, these interactive video clips had to be rendered 4-up on a screen
as the user swiped through a catalog of thousands of eyeglasses and
sunglasses. Quite a task considering the processing power of a tablet.
From a creative point of view, there were 47
different wireframe revisions across the board, three different design
approaches and dozens of features added after the whole team thought it
was locked down. Every single pixel was explored and every line of code
refined multiple times. We routinely started over. We have a saying
around here (quoting the Army Corps of Engineers): The difficult
we do immediately, the impossible takes a little bit longer.
to the end product has been incredible. The 2013 TED conference invited
us to present the technology on their main stage and allowed a launch
demo booth in the lobby, which wowed the tech elite. Apple featured the
project on the App Store in version 1.0, which is rare. Edmund McCormack
(iAd Sales, Apple, Inc.) reported that Glasses.com for iPad was their
most successful retailer app download campaign in iAd history, both in
terms of downloads (800,000 to date) and cost per click. Likewise,
Facebook informed us that the cost per install was the lowest they, too,
had ever seen, which is testimony that a fresh idea with sophisticated
design does break through.
Bruce Christy, glasses.com, graphic
designer/interactive designer/executive creative director
Brimhall/Spencer Burgess, Axis41/Myan Duong/Eric Moujaes, Phunware/Matt
Scherer/Shaun Steele/David Rathbun, Axis41, design team
Dann Petty, Dann Petty Design, design team
Engle/Darren Turetsky, Binocular, developers
Digital Core, online editor
Rick Schulze, RS & Associates, video
Sean Forsgren, Glasses.com, producer/project manager
Paul Grimshaw, RS & Associates, executive producer
Binocular, production designer
Adam Gravois, Mirar, visual effects
Psyop, 3-D animation company
production service company
Glasses.com (Draper, UT), project
design and development/client