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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Las Vegas CES shows beauty of tech

Products shown included L’Oreal’s UV Sense, that tracks UV exposure and Neutrogena’s skin-analysing system, the Skin360 App & SkinScanner Tool

The CES in Las Vegas tech show was home to the latest developments in beauty sector. DavidMcnew// AFP PHOTO / DAVID MCNEW
The CES in Las Vegas tech show was home to the latest developments in beauty sector. DavidMcnew// AFP PHOTO / DAVID MCNEW

Some the biggest brands in the beauty industry have recently launched their new products for 2018, not at a glitzy showcase for beauty journalists, however, but at the annual consumer electronics show CES in Las Vegas in January.

Beauty high-tech shown included L’Oreal’s UV Sense, a sticker that tracks UV exposure and Neutrogena’s skin-analysing system, the Skin360 App & SkinScanner Tool.

Meanwhile, international beauty brand Coty has also just launched "Let’s Get Ready" app in the UK market, a new voice-activated software created specifically for Echo Show, Amazon’s first Echo device with a screen. Its "visual skill" tool looks to suit the user’s hair, eye and skin colour according to the occasion they’re preparing for, working from a database of more than 2,000 unique combinations of hair, eye and skin colour, as well as event type. The app offers tips, tutorials and products from Clairol, Rimmel, Max Factor, Bourjois and Sally Hansen – and, of course, adds the products to users' Alexa shopping list. It can even sync with the user's Facebook calendar to suggest looks for specific events in their diary.

“One example of tech that is still in development and not yet at the consumer level is translating the virtual try-on experience from still images to video,” says Sarah Jindal, senior innovation and insights analyst, beauty and personal care at the market research firm Mintel. “This enables the consumer to move around their environment and see what products look like in different lighting conditions, for example."

Smart labelling is another area where there have been advances, she says. “Labels that can let the user know not only when a product was manufactured but how it was transported or at what temperature it was stored. Product packaging could evolve to include sensors that notify the consumer when they are running low and it’s time to reorder.”

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Ms Jindal says that in the future, technology will also allow full customisation of products by recreating the colours tried through AR using scanning devices and 3D printers. “Consumers will be able to create [or print] any shades they want from a simple scan that measures a colour spectrum and accurately recreates it in any make-up format,” she says. “L’Oréal has explored ‘scan and match’ technology that can measure any colour from an object or skin and recreate it in products. Lancôme Le Teint Particulier and French start-up Nail Revolution are the first examples that we've seen in the arena, but we can expect to see more in the near future.”

Meanwhile, Canadian beauty technology pioneer Modiface is also working on "iris tracking".

“With our facial recognition tracking, the points are very accurate so we’re able to lock in where your eyes are, where your eyebrows are, the contour of your face, your lips, your nose and even your iris, to the point that we know which direction you’re looking in,” says Jennifer Tidy, vice president of partnerships at Modiface.

By following the gaze of their customer, brands can learn more about their clientele’s needs to enhance their experience, put promotional messages in a specific location in a store or on screen, or change the layout of the app or website. “It’s just another way of getting to know your consumer and personalising the experience further for them,” says Ms Tidy.

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