L’Oréal Paris is investing in the development of its augmented reality app "Makeup Genius" by entering into an exclusive partnership with the augmented reality company behind the project, Image Metrics.
Originally launched in 2014, Makeup Genius is essentially a mirror that relies on innovative technology developed by Image Metrics to let users apply makeup virtually and in realtime.
By monitoring each user’s unique facial features, it allows people to try out different products and share the results on social media before committing to a purchase. The app, which provides access to the brand’s extensive catalogue of products, claims almost 20 million users worldwide.
According to L’Oreal, the partnership deal will mean the beauty brand gets exclusive use of the technology behind the app. This will enable the development of new features and the addition of new products and functionalities designed "to keep the instant ’WOW’ effect alive" for existing and future users.
"Entering this new era with Image Metrics will allow us to explore new possibilities and connect more than ever with consumers and offer them an easy, personalized and truly useful beauty e-routine," says Cyril Chapuy L’Oreal Paris Global President.
US-based Image Metrics specializes in facial analysis and detection research, as well as providing advanced tracking technology, enabling hyper accurate placement of objects within augmented reality scenes. The brand’s technology has been used to power many well known films and video games as well as popular social networking applications, and CEO Ron Ryder has promised Makeup Genius users an "increasingly immersive and stunningly real" experience.
L’Oreal Paris is one of several brands making inroads into the connected beauty sector. In January Sephora updated its "Sephora to Go" application feature to allow users to try on a myriad of lipstick shades virtually thanks to augmented reality, while last year nail brand Sally Hansen unveiled "Mini Match," an app allowing users to test out up to 200 of the brand’s nail polish colors in real time.