The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) UK & Ireland has launched what they called “a first-of-its-kind” Voice-Enabled Makeup Assistant (VMA) application. Powered by artificial intelligence, the mobile app helps visually impaired users to apply makeup more easily and confidently.
“ELC’s ambition for the launch of VMA is to support the visually impaired community by further enabling self-expression and self-empowerment through their relationship with makeup,” said the company in a statement.
VMA uses voice instruction technologies to assist the user in makeup application; users receive audio feedback and tips on whether their lipstick, eyeshadow, or foundation is evenly applied. Using Artificial Intelligence, ELC’s VMA identifies makeup applied on a user’s face and assesses the uniformity and boundaries of application and coverage. VMA identifies any areas on the face that may require more accurate application and audibly describes where touch ups may be needed.
In the UK alone, the National Health Service estimates that more than 2 million people are living with sight loss, of whom 340,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.
The VMA App will initially be available via the Apple App Store in the UK and esteelauder.co.uk. The Estée Lauder brand in the UK will be the first to adopt and promote this technology. It is targeted to launch on the Google Play store within the year and across other ELC brands and markets in the near future.
The launch is the first iteration of the app, intended to be continuously optimized and improved over the coming months. Future versions of the application will offer expanded services, with the goal of providing new features, including looks to choose from, and makeup education tools to help visually impaired users better utilize ELC’s products and services.