I hate glasses shopping for the same reason I hate pants shopping: Every pair fits differently, and try-on sessions push my patience to the limit. I often reach a point where I've tried on so many pairs of glasses, I start losing my sense of what looks and feels good. Even if I'm able to make a decision and swipe my credit card, I walk out the door questioning the purchase and pondering a return.
So forgive me a moment while I wax poetic about Warby Parker's latest addition to its free Glasses app, "Find Your Fit." The tool does exactly what it sounds like, except you're not really the one who has to find the fit — the app does everything for you. "Find Your Fit" takes out the guess work and serves as a very smart personal shopper, recommending glasses based on your exact facial measurements.
And the reason it's able to do that involves a catch: You'll need an iPhone X to take advantage of "Find Your Fit." The tool is made possibly by Apple's TrueDepth camera system, the real star of the most expensive iPhone ever. This system is packed into the black notch along the top of the screen. It's what makes the trend you never saw coming — Animoji Karaoke — possible, allows for portrait mode selfies, and enables Face ID — a secure sign-in that's tough to trick.
To understand how "Find Your Fit" works, it's important to understand how the TrueDepth camera works to make Face ID possible. The X's camera projects over 30,000 invisible dots on your face to read its contours and create a 3D depth map. Warby Parker uses the camera in a similar way, taking that map, which it calls a "3D mesh," to measure parts of your face and offer its recommendations. It's easy to see how using face scanning technology this way has the potential to up the online optical's game in a big way.
If you have an iPhone X, you can try out the feature by opening the Warby Parker app, tapping "Eyeglasses," and selecting the blue "Find Your Fit" bubble on the bottom of the screen. You'll be asked to authorize camera access, though the app notes it won't store the images or measurements it takes.
To ensure accuracy, you're instructed to take off your glasses or sunglasses, kick your friend out of the frame, and center yourself on the screen. You'll see what looks like a light blue spider web spread across your face as as the app maps and conducts its measurements. If it's done correctly, you'll be directed to a page of glasses suggestions. If not, you can do it again.
When I tried "Find Your Fit," the app came back with 11 suggestions. This is still too many for my taste, but when you consider there are over 50 styles to begin with, it's a far more manageable selection. The only time I ran into trouble was when I tried to use the tool while standing in front of a white wall. Though it appeared to work just fine, the app returned over 30 suggestions of frames to try, much more than when I tried doing it anywhere else.
My only other complaint: "Find Your Fit" did not recommend the Chamberlain pair that I currently own, leading me to question my existing fit. I'm not ready to ditch this pair just yet, but when I'm due for a prescription upgrade, I know how I'll go looking for a new pair of frames.