Call it the virtual personal touch.
Come next Thursday, virtual-makeover technology provider ModiFace will unveil its updated 2012 platform, which lets consumers dabble in makeup shades and even sample how they would look after certain plastic surgery procedures — all with the help of a computer-generated beauty adviser.
“Our past technology has allowed for consumers to try out their products virtually before purchasing them,” said Parham Aarabi, chief executive officer of ModiFace, a company that provides facial-recognition technology for skin-care, cosmetics and clothing virtual makeover tools.“What’s been missing is having someone there for help and advice.”
Industry sources believe the application, which was created in an HTML format so it could operate on any mobile device, could generate between $2 and $5 million through partnerships and advertising.
“The ultimate vision is that a customer walks into a store like Duane Reade, approaches a beauty counter looking for a foundation and uses ModiFace for product recommendations and to see how shades look on her,” said Aarabi, who expects between five and 10 million unique users to utilize the site its first year. The company’s current technology is accessed by six million unique users through ModiFace-owned and operated applications as well as partner applications.
To use the 2012 ModiFace Virtual Makeover tool, consumers first upload a headshot, on which thousands of products and shades and hundreds of event-specific looks (i.e. galas or date night) can be sampled. Facial contours are then automatically mapped, without manual adjustments, allowing for quicker, more accurate makeover results.
The most unique of the updated technology, according to Aarabi, is the addition of the virtual beauty consultant, who provides instant advice, powered by artificial intelligence collected from over 5,000 user conversations. Users type in questions in the ModiFace conversation bar — anything from “How do I get a smoky eye effect?” to “Can you show me a Stila lipstick for under $30?”
Once a consumer is ready to purchase a particular product, he or she can do so directly through the interface.
“This is for shoppers looking to narrow-down their options for a single product recommendation,” said Aarabi, who plans to roll out his technology within the year to retailers for in-store use.
According to Aarabi, this tool marks the first virtual makeover technology with YouTube video integration, meaning that users can watch how-to videos, or even music videos, alongside their simulated makeovers.
The application also features antiaging and skin care visualization, which simulates the results of procedures like rhinoplasty, lip augmentation, acne reduction or increased tanning levels.
“We have created a system that the more people use it, the smarter and more accurate it becomes,” said Aarabi. “I’m excited to see where it will be a year from now”