Brace yourself: iPhone app lets you try on braces in augmented reality


All through the magic of augmented reality.
Photo: Enis Yavuz/Unsplash CC

A new augmented reality iPhone app lets users try different styles of braces on before they visit an orthodontist. Clarity Smile, which launched in the App Store this month, features a range of braces — ranging from ceramic, metallic, and colored braces to clear aligners and even fun (not dentally approved) options like diamond grills.

Users get to see what these look like on them as they talk and smile. They can even use the app to share new brace selfies with friends and family.

“Now everyone can choose the right braces for their smiles, before they spend precious time and money on treatment,” said Aly Hasham, vice president of strategy at Neon. “Clarity Smile is quick, interactive, and fun – and it represents a major advance in AR technology.”

Clarity Smile
Try on braces before visiting the orthodontists.
Photo: Clarity Smile

While AR continues to be most widely used for gaming (see the continued success of Pokémon GO), apps like this highlight the use for it in other areas — particularly retail.

It’s not the first app of its kind. An IKEA app from a couple of years ago allowed users to try different pieces of furniture in their homes before buying them. Other apps, like this one from Warby Parker, let customers try on glasses in AR. However, the Clarity Smile app is particularly impressive because it not only has to track the mouth of users to keep the braces fixed in place, but it also has to adjust for ambient lighting and reflections, as well as superimposing the braces over the teeth only, rather than across closed lips.

The app is available for the iPhone X and later. Languages supported include English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, with other language options to come. You can download it for free from the App Store.