“We believe beauty tech is driving the next beauty revolution,” said Wayne Liu, senior vice president and general manager of Perfect Corp., pointing to a multitude of article headlines on the subject, with his favorite being “The Next Tech Unicorn Will Be Wearing Lipstick.”
“I hope it’s us,” he said.
Liu maintained that beauty and tech are the perfect match for three main reasons: They give omnichannel experiences, are user-centric and data-driven. “The good thing about technology and the bad thing about technology is you leave a footprint,” he said.
For the past four years, as long as Perfect Corp. has been in existence, beauty tech has been about an augmented reality experience. The company has powered virtual try-ons online and in store. Its YouCam Makeup app has 750 million users globally.
“That puts us at the third largest country in the world,” Liu said.
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So omnichannel AR has been broadly and successfully deployed. “Your customers start asking you about a roadmap, what’s next,” he said. “Since you give your customer so many options, they ask for recommendations.
“In that case you have to introduce AI,” said Liu, referring to artificial intelligence. “That’s what we call Beauty 3.0 — it’s AI plus AR.”
Working with more than 200 brands and retail partners globally, Perfect Corp. has culled reams of data that’s used with the help of AI to personalize beauty experiences. “Right now we can recommend products, looks, hair color — all kinds of things,” Liu said.
As part of Beauty 3.0, Perfect Corp. has developed some new technology. There is, for instance, AI Shade Finder. It works with a quick scan of a person’s face via a phone, iPad or PC, then takes into account the user’s skin tone, face shape and skin type.
“We find the perfect shade — not only the shade, but even the undertone,” the executive said. “We can put it on your face to do a virtual try-on. Then we recommend product based on your shade.”
Liu said the technology can identify the full spectrum of human skin tones — about 90,000 in all.
Another example of upcoming technology from Perfect Corp. allows people to virtually try on a spokesmodel’s makeup look and have the option to buy the products used for it. So, for instance, someone spots Kendall Jenner sporting Estée Lauder makeup in a magazine. The person could take a photo of the image, and the app would find the exact makeup look to try on digitally.
“You reduce return rates,” Liu said.
BA 1-1 is a new way for beauty advisers to engage with customers. Someone can call a BA over a phone or through the web site, and she suggests products while using a virtual try-on. Product purchases may be made right after the session. All conversations with the BA can be recorded and analyzed by machines, so people can be even better helped during their next call for advice.
In July, an unnamed brand will be using that technology as a survey tool, deploying the real-time conversation to understand what consumers need and want.
“Beauty 3.0 is really about personalization, recommendation and an accurate, data-driven model,” Liu said.