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Amazon lets you try digital versions of the shoes you want to buy

Amazon on Thursday launched a new augmented reality shopping tool that allows users to practically try on shoes they may be interested in buying.

Amazon said the tool would make the e-commerce experience easier and more interactive for customers.

The feature, called Virtual Try-On for Shoes, is available to iOS users in the US and Canada on Amazon’s shopping app. The feature has been added to “thousands of styles” from brands such as New Balance, Adidas, Reebok and Puma, Amazon said.

To use the tool, shoppers press the “virtual try-on” button on a footwear product page, then point the smartphone camera at their feet and a pair of virtual shoes appears on the screen. Shoppers can browse different colors while the feature is still active, and it is automatically adjusted on their screen.

The feature does not help users figure out how the shoes fit, but it will give them a sense of what they look like.

The feature builds on Amazon’s existing virtual shopping tools, many of which use augmented reality, a technology that overlaps the real world with virtual objects. In 2017, Amazon launched “AR View”, which allows users to visualize a product at home using their smartphone. Then it introduced another tool, called “Room Decorator”, which allows users to place multiple virtual objects in their home at the same time.

Amazon is not the only company experimenting with augmented reality in online shopping. Furniture giant Ikea, Nike, L’Oreal and fast fashion retailer Zara have all launched similar features.

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