New Look Eyewear Review: Buying Glasses Online in Canada with iPhone and Face ID
Earlier this year, eyewear retailer New Look reached out to say their New Look 3D scanning app was updated to expand beyond Quebec, available to the rest of Canada.
The New Look 3D scanning app leverages Face ID in iPhone and iPads to scan 20,000 data points on your face, allowing for ultra-precise measurements to find you the perfect pair of glasses. The app uses technology from San Francisco-based Topology as the latter takes data from Face ID to get perfectly fitting glasses from ear to ear.
The app also lets users try on glasses safely from home, as the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. From here, you can set up a video appointment with an optician to find you the perfect pair of glasses.
We tested the New Look 3D scanning app back in the spring, but it wasn’t quite polished yet, as our Face ID scans just wouldn’t complete. Eventually, a few months later, the app was updated to fix issues and we were able to put their buying process to the test. Believe me, it app issues really tested my patience.
In order for an optician to help you select a pair of glasses, you will need a valid optical prescription from the past two years. New Look covered the cost of our eye exam for the sake of this review and also the final glasses we selected.
So how does one order prescription glasses from home using an iPhone and Face ID?
First, you download the New Look Eyewear app, then follow the instructions to scan your face. You just rotate your head and let Face ID do the work. Being in an area of bright light will help the process. You’ll need to have your speakers on to follow audible instructions as well.
The scans will measure your face and the left and right sides of your head. It will also measure your pupillary distance (PD), the measurement between the centres of your pupils. You’ll be able to refine the distances at the top and bottom of your ear canals to get the right fit for glasses, along with centre of pupil measurements.
After we completed these scans, at app said ‘something went wrong’ and had also crashed. After a month or so, these issues were fixed and were able to complete a scan. I wasn’t able to try on any glasses in the app. There are some serious app issues they need to address here.
Next we made an appointment with an optician for a virtual try-on via the web, using GoToMeeting. Since the optician had all of our measurements, they were able to easily pick out some styles and suggestions, and overlay these glasses on the picture of our face from the app scans.
For now, only an optician can help you choose frames, said New Look, but eventually it would be accessible for people online. Glasses can be fitted down to 1/10th of a millimetre we were told, so you can get stock frames or custom frames.
Visiting an optical store to buy new glasses is one of the things I dread in life, similar to visiting a bank for services unavailable via telephone or through an app. But the virtual glasses appointment made it convenient and easy, saving me time.
New Look Eyewear carriers all brands of glasses including designer lines, and we selected a pair of Gucci glasses that looked decent. But would the glasses fit perfectly on our head? The proof is in the pudding as we waited for the glasses to ship (via Canada Post) and deliver to our home.
Inside the box, we received our glasses, a polishing cloth and some spray for cleaning them.
Here are the Gucci glasses received below:
So did Face ID measurements actually work? We tried the glasses on and they did indeed fit our face and head. We’re wearing them now and they don’t fall off our face and have been very comfortable. I’d say ordering glasses online with the help of my iPhone with Face ID was a success, once you get past the frustrating issues with the New Look Eyewear app.
New Look says buying glasses with Face ID offers the same full guarantee as buying online. The optician we spoke with said they “barely had any returns”, noting the success rate so far has been “tremendous”. New Look is the only company in Canada using Topology’s technology.
Of course, there are caveats with this buying process. You need to have an iPhone or iPad with Face ID, so that means an iPhone X or newer or iPad Pro 11-inch or 12.9-inch (3rd gen or newer).
But if you don’t have either, New Look stores in Ontario and Quebec have iPad Pro units in-store to scan your face. We were told some stores in Victoria and Vancouver in B.C. also have iPads available too.
So would I consider buying glasses again using New Look, versus blindly ordering online with ballpark measurements? Yes. It saved me time and the glasses fit my face and my head, plus I didn’t have to drive to a store and waste hours waiting to try glasses on. If you’re concerned about COVID-19 still and don’t want to visit a store, this is one way to buy glasses online easily and have them delivered to your front door.