Warby Parker’s app aims to replace an in-person eye test

Warby Parker app

Warby Parker unveiled a new app with the idea to help users find the right prescription glasses without getting an in-person eye test. Called the Prescription Check app, it enables folks to use their phone and computer in tandem to administer a 20-minute series of eye tests.

The setup involves users standing back from their computer screen that displays the vision tests while reading instructions off the phone. The phone — its built-in camera — is also used to determine the distance between the user and his/her computer as well as the computer’s screen size so the tests are configured properly.

Once completed, these tests are reviewed by a doctor who makes the final call on a prescription.

The new offering has started in California, Florida, New York and Virginia where only previous Warby Parker customers aged between 18 and 40 years are eligible to participate. Eventually, the tests could be roll out more to a wider audience to make it easier for patients to get their glasses, and ultimately — have a positive impact on Warby Parker’s bottom line.

In comparison, the regular Warby Parker process involves users getting to the doctor’s office to get a prescription, or come in to one of the company’s roughly 50 retail locations that are mostly just in big cities.

Another company offering at-home eye testing is Opternative, but it has met regulatory pushback from optometrist and ophthalmologist organizations trying to protect their in-store eye test businesses.