How does Topology produce the World's Best-Fitting Glasses? (Part 2)

Science and Manufacturing Process
— by
Rob Varady

In part 1 of this process overview, we discussed how we get a millimeter-accurate 3D model of your face. Now, in part two, we'll discuss how we design perfect fitting glasses that will look and feel better than any you've ever owned. Part 3 will conclude this series by describing the production process.

The Amazing Auto-Fit

You may have noticed that every single pair of glasses that appears in the virtual try-on seems to fit you pretty well. This isn't a coincidence, and it isn't trickery. Before you preview any of our glasses, each of our designs is resized and reshaped along 21 different dimensions so that it fits your unique face. You might notice your iPhone getting a bit warm - that's because we're doing all this computation and rendering in real-time, and we're pushing Apple's hardware to the limit.

Imagine walking into a store where every pair in stock was pre-selected just for you - with sizing out of the way that means you can focus purely on style and color. That's the vision at the heart of the Topology experience. You focus on what looks good and we ensure it is perfectly custom-fit.

App to Reality

The virtual try-on is not just a try-on: as you choose material, shape, color, and as you alter the height, width, and alignment of the frames, the app is re-forming the shape of the frames to remain perfectly conformed to your nose, face, cheeks, and ears to maximize comfort and optics. When you check out, the app creates a detailed 3D engineering drawing of the glasses, which allows for much more detailed measurement and refinement. It also allows our San Francisco mechanical engineers to confirm that the nose pads will sculpted to conform to the unique shape of your nose, the temple arms will not squeeze your head too lightly nor too loosely, and that what you see in the app is exactly what you'll get in real life. (WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get) If you have an irregularly-shaped nose, the engineers will design a new surface of the glasses, one cut at a time, uniquely for you. From there, the we generate a software program that will drive our robots and lasers to carve your glasses from blocks of imported Italian plastic and sheets of surgical stainless steel with a precision measured in the thousandth of an inch.

Optimal Optics

The 3D modeling doesn't stop at the frames - it also allows us to order you the best possible lenses (for more details, see the Lenses and Optics section). There's a lot that goes into the science of refracting light to the exact point in your eye that will bring things into focus, but you need to start with how the lenses are positioned with respect to your eyes in 3D space. The best optical stores in the world have high-tech, multi-camera photo equipment that track tiny dots attached to the stock frames you intend to purchase so they can determine in 3D how that stock frame sits on your face - if that's news to you, then your optician is likely taking a best-guess on your measurements rather than giving you what was until now the state-of-the art. But we go so much farther - the scan you've already taken allows us to design the best possible lens for your prescription in your frames, AND ensure said frame positions said lenses in the optimal location with respect to your eyes, and at the correct angles with respect to your eyes. This has never been possible before, until now.

Continue to Part 3.