Glasses retailer Warby Parker working on smartphone-based eye exam

By Aditi Pai
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Warby ParkerWarby Parker, an eyeglass retailer, has announced that they are investing in technology that allows consumers to conduct smartphone-based eye exams, according to a post from .

Just last week, in a round led by T. Rowe Price -- the company is now valued at $1.2 billion.

When first started out, about five years ago, it offered a service that delivered a box of eye glasses to users who would then try them on and send back the ones they didn't want. But, recently, the company launched 13 brick and mortar locations in eight states across the US. Warby Parker that it planned to have 20 physical locations by the end of the year. Currently, Warby Parker offers in-store optical measurements, like measuring the customer's pupillary distance.

There is already at least one other company offering a smartphone-based eye exam service for consumers.

Last week, Somerville, Massachusetts-based eye diagnostic tool maker EyeNetra launched a new direct-to-consumer service called Blink, which brings eye tests to the patient, in New York City. Blink emphasized that the appointments are only for users who need to be tested for glasses, not eye health. Users can schedule an optometry appointment 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Then, a “visioneer” will visit the patient at their home or work to oversee the test.

Within 24 hours, an optometrist will remotely view the user’s profile and results. They will either send over a digital prescription for glasses or, if the user has a complication, the optometrist will refer them to a local optometrist for an in-office eye exam.