The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Quick Pitch: Try on and purchase glasses online.
Genius Idea: 3D virtual fitting technology lets you determine whether a pair of glasses flatters your face before making a purchase.
Some things are easier to buy online than others. A refill of your favorite toothpaste is a no-brainer. A t-shirt from a brand you buy from frequently will probably fit you. Sunglasses? You might have an idea that square frames flatter your face better than round ones, but it’s largely going to be a crapshoot.
Ditto, a retail startup launching Thursday, has developed 3D virtual fitting technology designed to help you find glasses that suit your face. By recording a short video on your webcam, you can create a 3D version of yourself, or “Ditto,” that you can then use to try on different pairs of glasses with a scrollable, 180-degree view. You can even put together side-by-side snapshots of yourself in different glasses and connect to Facebook to get advice from your friends before making a purchase.
The imaging isn’t perfect, but it’s better than many of the other virtual fitting applications we’ve seen.
“Eyewear has the lowest online penetration of any retail category; just 2.9% of all eyewear is bought online,” Ditto cofounder and CEO Kate Endress says of her desire to enter the category. “People don’t want to buy eyewear online because the fit is too difficult. We’re solving that problem, letting people shop for glasses from designers they already love.”
The Mountainview, CA-based startup raised $3 million in a funding round led by August Capital in September.
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.
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