TECHNOLOGY

Amazon brings lipstick try-on to customer phones

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amazon is the latest retailer to apply augmented reality (AR) to digital beauty shopping.

The e-tail giant is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI)-based AR technology from ModiFace to enable its first virtual cosmetic try-on experience. Amazon customers will be able to use the front-facing camera on their mobile phone to digitally try on different shades of lipstick in a live video of themselves, or on a selfie.

The ModiFace technology, which runs on Amazon Web Services, performs AR simulation of each lipstick shade automatically, based on AI-powered analysis of information provided by makeup brands, as well as on images and descriptions of the product available on social media. The technology analyzes textual and visual information related to a particular makeup shade to realistically reproduce it via AR.

“We are excited to team up with ModiFace to make shopping for cosmetics online even easier by offering customers the ability to virtually try-on before they buy,” said Nicolas Le Bourgeois, head of Amazon Beauty. “With this new AI-powered virtual experience, Amazon customers can now conveniently try-on thousands of lipstick products, save photos on their devices to share with friends and ultimately purchase with greater confidence – wherever they are, whenever they want, with products delivered right to their doorstep.”

ModiFace, which vertical beauty retailer L’Oreal purchased in 2018, rolled out the technology on Amazon mid-2019 for customers in the U.S. and Japan.

Increasingly, retailers of beauty products are utilizing AR and virtual reality (VR) to provide customers a realistic digital view of how cosmetics products would look on them. For example, Ulta Beauty offers GlamLab, an AR-based mobile app feature that enables customers to see how different beauty products would look on them. The retailer is also piloting an AR-based try-on service in its stores.

Meanwhile, Macy’s is also using Modiface technology to enable users of its consumer app, as well as in-store kiosks to virtually test single beauty products or entire looks, which they can also share on social media.

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