Fitz Frames brings kids’ glasses fitting to the phone

A customized eyewear app is applying augmented reality (AR) to the process of selecting frames for kids.

Fitz Frames specifically designs and manufactures eyewear frames for individual children. Customers can select from a catalogue of six frame shapes in eight different colors. The app's AR process enables app users to virtually try on frame options using advanced facial mapping to take accurate measurements from in-app photographs. Every pair of frames can be engraved with each child's name for further customization and arrives ready-to-wear.

Once frames are selected, glasses are 3-D printed using laser printers at the Fitz Frames factory in Youngstown, Ohio, and tailor-made to reflect the unique contours of each child's face. Parents will have the ability to manage individual profiles for each child, allowing them to track their orders, update prescriptions, and see previous styles and selections.

In addition to individual purchases, Fitz Frames also offers a subscription option, providing members with two sets of glasses and unlimited replacement frames for $185 per year. After the first two pairs, Fitz Frames will cover the cost of additional frames, subscribers are only responsible for the cost of lenses and shipping.

"As a mother of three, I've experienced firsthand the challenges that come along with a child who wears glasses," says Fitz Frames founder and co-CEO Heidi Hertel. "They're expensive, they break, they're frequently lost or they just don't fit their little faces properly. We're thrilled to finally be able to offer parents a convenient solution that enables kids to see the world more clearly."

Digital eyewear retailers are increasingly turning to AR and virtual reality (AR) to eliminate the need to visit a physical store to obtain a custom frame fitting. Zenni Optical offers a virtual try-on feature that provides customers a realistic preview of Zenni glasses on their face using a 3D 180-degree mobile scan of their face and a facial analysis tool.

Warby Parker also offers customers a virtual try-on tool. Inside the Warby Parker app on select iPhone devices, customers can put their smartphone camera into selfie mode to get a digital view of themselves. Shoppers can then select frames and use AR graphics to place them on the image of their face to see how they look.
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