to Launch Proprietary 3D Virtual Try On App in May


1-800 CONTACTS' CEO Jonathan Coon demos the app.
NEW YORK –Using a proprietary technology combining advanced computer modeling, photo technology and Hollywood special effects,, the online eyewear site, plans to debut a new, unique 3D Virtual Try On App to consumers in early May. Developed by 1-800 CONTACTS founder and CEO Jonathan Coon, the app uses facial mapping to product a true to life 180-degree view of the user’s face, to show how each pair of frames fits, in 3D.

Once the images are taken and the face measured, the user can turn his or her head to see various views of the frames or sunwear on their face, use a tablet or smartphone touchscreen to move or adjust the frame on the face, move the temples, try on styles and sort those choices by brand, frame style or color and compare frames using side-by-side images. Social sharing is possible, “favorites” can be saved and purchases can be made.


In a preview of the technology at VMail’s offices here with’s John Graham, general manager, Coon said he was inspired by a photogrammetry demonstration he had seen five years ago in which 2D Flickr images were converted into a three-dimensional photo of Notre Dame. He reasoned that perhaps the same idea could be applied to the human face and began to experiment with many versions. “This is an attribute-based sort file, it’s a ‘many-to-many’ sort that enables a very accurate depiction of an individual’s face that then enables them try on four frames a second or a 100 frames in under a minute and filter these down to the choices they like best.” He noted, “Our goal is to make customers enjoy the process of buying eyewear—to make it more fun, to take the friction out of the process.”'s John Graham (l) and
1-800 CONTACTS' CEO Jonathan Coon.
Coon added, “From the time we began with 1-800, through the debut of and our recent purchase by WellPoint, we have always been known for bringing different ideas to the eyewear space. We feel that this is another example of that.” Initially, the 3D Try On App will be used exclusively by but Coon said, “We don’t rule out anything down the road, if we see opportunities to expand this or have it used in different ways. We have partnered with others in the past and will consider that again. If it helps to grow the market, we’ll explore those opportunities.”

The 3D Virtual Try On app will debut for iPad in mid-May, to be followed by an iPhone version in mid-June, both to be available for free via the iTunes App Store. Android operating platform versions are planned. A version of the app was being shown over the past week to some media and influential tech leaders and is now posted on Vision Monday’s Video page here.