The beauty industry is going through an amazing technological disruption that is changing the way we discover, perceive and buy beauty products. These are exciting times as we experience this shift in the way the industry has taken to technology to create seamless consumer experiences, blurring the lines between the online and offline. Here’s a look at the latest in the world of beauty technology and the brands that are acing it:
Augmented Reality in the beauty industry is no more a rare phenomenon, infact it is considered rather mainstream now. There are built-in AR mirrors, easily capable of stimulating cosmetics on users’ photos in the comfort of their homes. In cosmetic stores as well, kiosks with touchscreen monitors are a common sight where customers can try multiple products through AR without getting into the hassle of removing and re-applying several variants or seeking assistance. In fact, these days, technology has advanced to the point where customers can try various combinations of eye, face and lip makeup all at the same time, while switching between textures and colours. Not limiting the use of AR for facial application, Maybelline is one of the first companies to launch a where customers can use AR-enabled devices to virtually test nail polish shades without actually using it on their nails!
3D Scanning is something which the medical and dental industries have been using for sometime now, for custom-printed prosthetics and dentures. Now is the turn of the beauty industry. Brands are all set to capitalize on this production technology to wow customers further and get an edge over their competitors. Amongst beauty brands, Chanel became one of its early adopters by releasing a 3D printed mascara wand. However, the need of the hour is to go beyond its mainstream use to offer something over and above the expected. This has been done by Neutrogena’s personalised mask, . It not only uses smartphone technology to scan one’s skin type & facial measurements to offer product recommendations but goes a step ahead to actually create a custom 3D-printed skin mask to suit the unique skin requirement of the user!
3D printing is not the only way to offer customized recommendations and products. Artificial Intelligence is the latest buzzword when it comes to mining data around skin type, lifestyle and genetics etc. to offer personalized products to beauty customers. Japanese skincare brand, SK II forayed into the world of tech beauty earlier this year with the launch of its skin diagnostic booth at pop-ups in Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore. Through its rather brilliant use of technology, the booth could analyze people standing 45 CMS away merely using audio prompts. Thereafter, the users continued to receive personalized recommendations without re-introducing themselves or offering any other information about themselves!
Considering AI, AR and the Iot are already disrupting everyday-use products, it’s no surprise that the beauty industry too is eager to use these technologies for creating smart products. A fine example of this is the Oral-B Genius X Toothbrush. The AI enabled toothbrush has built-in sensors to record where the users are brushing and how much pressure they’re applying in the process. This data is then collected to give personalized recommendations to the users to help improve their oral health. There’s more – the toothbrush is connected to an App that makes a visual record of the activity, highlighting the parts that were missed out while brushing!