While augmented reality may not seem like a natural fit for the beauty industry it has rapidly solved one of the industry’s biggest problems: showcasing how products will look on individual consumers before purchase. As Youtube gains more and more beauty bloggers each day, there is no shortage of information on different beauty products and treatments. However, there has never before been a way for consumers to determine how the cosmetics they love on their favorite bloggers will look on their own face (aside from a pressure-filled in-store makeover).
New augmented reality technology allows consumers to easily play with an array of beauty looks from the comfort of their own home, before shelling out the big bucks at a department store. Two of cosmetics industry giants, Sephora, and Procter & Gamble have already begun to utilize augmented reality technology, both in-stores and on their own apps.
ModiFace is one of the first augmented reality startups with patented face and skin-mapping technology specifically designed for the beauty industry. This augmented reality technology is used to analyze minute details of the face and skin to render a life-like visualization of a user’s face. With this rendering, the augmented reality app can simulate how different types of cosmetics, hairstyles, and anti-aging treatments like Botox will look on the user in real life. Another bonus? These apps make finding the perfect lipstick shade for friends and family easier than ever with skin-tone matching technology (hint: Mother’s Day).
While incredible amounts of research and testing are involved in developing augmented reality-based beauty apps, one of the most intriguing areas is undoubtedly the anti-aging sector. The popular skincare company Olay has married artificial intelligence with deep learning technology to revolutionize the way consumers buy anti-aging products. A makeup-free selfie and skincare questionnaire are all that are required for users to benefit from a custom skincare regime. Olay’s aging zone analysis is combined with user information to provide individualized product recommendations. Other cosmetics companies are going even further and combining in-depth research with augmented reality technology to demonstrate the results of anti-aging products on consumer’s faces prior to consumers investing in the product.
Augmented reality technology has also taken an interesting turn in Japan where Shiseido partnered with Microsoft Japan and Skype For Business to create their new beauty app, Telebeauty. This app is perfect for anyone who utilizes video conferencing as it applies virtual makeup (foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick) to the user’s video image. It is kind of like applying a Snapchat filter to a video-conference call, eliminating the need for users to actually put on makeup. There are only two words needed to describe this type of technological innovation, pure genius!
The global cosmetics market hit $500 billion last year, which means while unconventional, technological innovations in the beauty industry are anything but small business. As augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality technology progress, so will personalized beauty apps. This means that it is entirely possible that cosmetic stores may become a thing of the past as consumers choose convenience and technology overcrowded stores and pushy consultations.
Kali Muir is an ambitious freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She was born in Canada but has since lived in Norway, Denmark, and England. Her work experience is as diverse as her past addresses, including roles in technical communication, corporate communication, marketing, and article writing. She has experience working in varied business sectors: Oil & Gas, Engineering & Technology, Clothing & Equipment Retail, and Creative Writing. Follow Kali’s professional and personal journey at www.kalimuir.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.