Augmented reality isn’t just for dog filters and Pokémon catching. A growing number of beauty brands are hopping on the AR bandwagon, hoping that virtual makeup try-ons with facial recognition will help spur e-commerce sales.
The biggest player in the space is ModiFace, which powered the AR experiences of more than 80 beauty brands before being purchased by L’Oreal last March. The company also developed AR mirrors that could superimpose makeup on consumers’ faces in real-time. But ModiFace’s acquisition, along with increasing demand for new technology in the AR space, means there’s plenty of room for other AR providers to entry the fray, as well.
Here’s a peek at how five AR technology providers are making their mark on the beauty and fashion industries.
Even before its acquisition by L’Oreal, ModiFace was the most recognizable AR player in the beauty space. The company uses ARKit to render makeup on consumers’ faces using products from partner brands. Unlike the virtual reality try-ons of yesteryear, ModiFace’s technology offers highly realistic applications of eyeliner, eyeshadow, and blush, among other makeup products, as well as anti-aging skincare lines. The company has also built live streaming integrations, along with a Facebook Messenger tool and real-time tutorial displays for retail stores. ModiFace’s biggest retail client is Sephora.
2. Perfect Corp.
Perfect Corp. is an AR service provider for beauty brands. The company’s most well known app is called YouCam Makeup, a “smart cosmetic kit” that harnesses facial mapping technology for virtual makeovers. YouCam Makeup is used to power Target’s online “beauty concierge” service. In addition to its suite of consumer-facing mobile apps, Perfect Corp. also offers a number of brand services for beauty retailers, like in-store AR consultations, live online consultations, and AR-powered live streaming that uses interactive AR filters to engage users in new experiences.
Using an AR platform, FaceCake gives consumers a way to try on makeup, jewelry, and apparel inside their own homes. The company has been working in the AR space since 2010. FaceCake’s CAKE platform is available to brand partners that want to give online shoppers a way to view products in an AR environment directly from their product detail pages, without having to leave the e-commerce sites they’re on or download any separate apps. The CAKE platform requires no downloads or plugins, and retailers can integrate the virtual try-on feature into their own websites with a snipped of code. FaceCake’s platform is used by NARS and Cargo Cosmetics.
MemoMi’s digital imaging software platform combines digital and real world shopping experiences. The company is best known for its “smart mirror,” which uses AR technology and performs “perspective correction” to create distortion-free, realistic images. Created in partnership with Neiman Marcus, MemoMi’s Memory Mirror gives shoppers a way to record short videos of themselves and change the color or patterns of the items they’re wearing. MemoMi’s mirrors are also used at beauty counters, inputting the RFID information about products used on customers to build more comprehensive customer profiles.
Holition is a digital retail agency that primarily works in the fashion and beauty space. The company specializes in creating “premium 3D digital experiences” for a growing number of luxury brands. Holition is the company behind CoverGirl’s BeautyU app, which offers free AR experiences using CoverGirl products from the brand’s latest collections. Consumers can virtually apply makeup to their faces using the live cameras on their phones or desktop computers and then purchase the products directly from partner retailers, like Walmart.com. Holition has also collaborated with Rimmel London to give consumers the ability to create “bespoke” AR content.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.