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Eyewear shopping app turns your headshot into 3D image

CSIRO's Smart Vision AR tech makes it easy to get a realistic idea of what your next pair of shades will look like on you.

As seen in this eyewear shopping app, CSIRO algorithms can develop a 3D face model using 2D pixels from an iPad camera.

The last time I picked out new eyeglasses, I spent about an hour trying out different pairs in the store. Of course I had to drive there, find and pay for parking, and get soaked in the rain.

I would have much rather used Smart Vision, an Australian technology that can create an augmented-reality 3D model of a face from a 2D image.

It can show you what you look like when trying on many different pairs of glasses or sunglasses, and you won't even have to leave home.

Australia's national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has filed patents on the Smart Vision virtual try-on tech, which lets users see themselves from any angle.

As seen earlier this year, retailer developed an iPad app using Smart Vision that lets users see a realistic, 180-degree image of their face in 3D with various specs on.

"Because the technology places a 3D model of the glasses over a 3D rendering of the user's face, shoppers can even reposition the glasses, tapping the screen to 'slide' frames up and down the bridge of their nose just as they would in real life," CSIRO said in a release.

The Smart Vision approach tracks up to 66 points on a user's face, such as eye corners and tip of the nose, at a rate faster than 30 frames per second. It then transfers the user's expression onto a lifelike avatar created from a single still image.

"Based on commercial and academic investigation, there is no solution on the market that can offer the reliability and fidelity that our face-tracking algorithm can deliver," CSIRO says on its Smart Vision page.

Check out a demo of the technology in action -- using multiple initial photos -- with the app in the vid below.