In what may be a first, eBay has added augmented reality to its fashion app. The new version of the app made its debut Thursday.

This story first appeared in the January 7, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Now anyone with an iPhone 4 can virtually try on a pair of sunglasses by superimposing an image of the glasses over an image of their face. For now, though, try-on is limited to a few select styles. EBay plans to expand the virtual try-on to other designs and categories later. It is also exploring using augmented reality in other ways, said eBay executives.

“Our ‘See It On’ augmented reality feature is truly an innovative way to shop — it allows consumers the option of making their style and spending decisions in a snap, on the go,” said eBay Inc. general manager for fashion Miriam Lahage. “I was questioning how I would look in Wayfarers so I tried a pair on [virtually] and I liked what I saw, they were…placed on my face. Then I could just click and buy.”

Although owners of other iPhones won’t be able to try the augmented reality feature because their cameras don’t face the right direction, they can still download the new version of the app, which includes the additional categories of watches, jewelry and bridal.

EBay, a leader in mobile commerce, said that sales over mobile devices exceeded its expectations in 2010, totaling $2 billion. It had previously estimated transactions over mobile devices would reach $1.5 billion, up from $600 million in 2009.

San Francisco boutique Tobi was one of the first to use augmented reality for virtual try-on in 2009 on its e-commerce site. The user could superimpose an image of an item of clothing in Tobi’s inventory over her own image in a live video.

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