Kohler's True Light mirror backstage at New York Fashion Week.
Kohler wants to get in on the augmented reality action.The Wisconsin-based company, perhaps best known for manufacturing kitchen and bath fixtures, is working on the launch of mirrors that will serve as platforms for augmented reality technologies, WWD has learned.A spokeswoman for the company told WWD that Kohler is currently working with technology companies to integrate augmented reality into future products. “We know a lot of beauty companies are looking into these augmented reality technologies,” said Betsy Froelich, who works in marketing and brand management for Kohler. “We would want our product to support those different programs…by being able to connect to the Internet and have the visuals come to the screen, and we would provide the platform.”Froelich noted that the mirror products could host technology built by beauty and healthcare companies. “The discussion for us is, ‘How can we provide the platforms for [this technology] to take place…whether it’s a healthcare company or a beauty company helping with how you look and feel with your products, we would be that hub [for the different technologies]. Froelich could not comment on a definitive timeline for the launch of these products but noted that this is a first step into the technology category for Kohler.Kohler also seems to be taking steps toward the beauty category. During New York Fashion Week, the company sponsored the hair and makeup tests at the Son Jung Wan show, using one of its Verdera “true light” mirrors, which replicates different kinds of lighting environments. The mirrors launched earlier this year in Asia and are becoming available in the U.S. now.Speaking at the WWD Digital Beauty Summit earlier this month, Dr. Parham Aarabi, ceo and founder of ModiFace, an augmented reality technology company, noted that the future of the high-tech trend will be a combination of augmented reality and artificial intelligence — so, not only mirroring a person's image, but telling that person information about themselves or a look they're trying on. "You can have a much more realistic experience and offer much more personalized recommendations."
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