How do you pick the perfect dress for your wedding? A new free app for the iPad says it uses "unique augmented reality technology" and "patented fabric-remapping technology" to help potential brides find and try on wedding dresses. That means the app, Wedding Dress Studio, overlays a dress on a picture of you and fits each design to your body.
I got a chance to preview the app in beta and was not impressed by the lack of options available and the somewhat unrealistic rendering. The app's makers explained that the beta I tried out offers less options than it will at launch. The company says it is adding designs every week, but you still won't find a huge selection until later.
My friend, who's getting married in January 2015, virtually tried on the dresses by snapping a full-length picture of her and adding it to the app. Following the app's instructions, we set points on the picture to indicate where her shoulders and hips were. The program immediately pasted a white dress over her body.
The people behind Wedding Dress Studio are quick to point out that the app stands out because it simulates how fabric stretches on a person's body to show how it will fit. Based on the four points (two shoulders, two hips) the user inputs, the program finds the best way to align the dress on his or her body. Despite this, we often had to readjust the points of reference because the dresses were often not placed exactly right. We also didn't like how the dresses were rendered over my friend' body. Though it did effectively mimic the way a dress drapes, the color of the dress made the picture look fake. Choosing a different color or taking a picture that's more brightly lit could alleviate this problem.
After adjusting the dots again, we went through the silhouettes, materials and designs available. Like any bride-to-be would, my friend was disappointed to find that designs from her favorite brands such as Vera Wang and Vivienne Westwood were missing. She also wanted lace as a material to choose from, but it wasn't available. The developers later explained to me that lace is a much more complex material to render, but that the team is working on bringing it to the Wedding Dress Studio.
Right now, the app only has five silhouettes, six necklines, one material in eight colors and 22 accessory add-ons (under "Detail") to offer 300 design combinations. Wedding Dress Studio's makers told me that the company had to start out with generic designs but is "actively and aggressively" talking to designers and bridal shops about adding specific dresses.
After you've created the dress of your dreams, you can save the image to your photo gallery or share it via Facebook.
Brides looking for more help on a dress to say Yes to (and in) might consider The Knot's Wedding LookBook app, which offers more products and actual price info, but doesn't let you see what the dress will look like on you. Those who want to create their own looks could use Wedding Dress Studio as a starting place, but the app sorely needs a larger variety of options.