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MAC Adds Augmented Reality Mirrors in U.S. Stores

Brands and retailers are deploying magic mirrors to enhance the beauty experience and offer virtual makeovers.

Augmented reality is quickly expanding from the smartphone and tablet to the store floor.

Today, MAC Cosmetics begins installing AR try-on mirrors powered by ModiFace in its stores across the U.S. with plans calling for a global rollout early next year.

With the mirrors, select MAC shades and looks can be virtually tried on a user’s live video while at retail store.

MAC is among a cadre of  brands with their own stores along with retailers offering magic mirrors to help shoppers experiment without the need for washing off makeup between looks. Among its partners, ModiFace provides Sephora the technology for its AR experience along with a newly announced mirror program at Wal-Mart. Earlier this year, Macy’s installed magic mirrors from YouCam Makeup. Other stores such as NYX put a big emphasis on technology to help on the sales floor, as well.

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Using ModiFace’s latest facial tracking and 3-D video makeup-rendering technology, the new AR mirrors provide a complete video of makeup under any lighting condition. The mirrors also feature ModiFace’s advancements in tracking accuracy and color rendering.

“The new ModiFace-powered mirrors provide an unprecedented level of realism and fidelity that bring to life our brand’s unique sense of color and artistry. We believe this will be a game-changing addition to our stores,” said Tim Tareco, senior vice president, global creative, visual merchandising and store design from MAC.

The MAC virtual try-on mirrors include a curated set of 29 custom eye looks. The styles are mapped to the face 30 times per second, a process that places the looks to within a fraction of a pixel for each face. The end result is an accurate rendition that is often indistinguishable from the real-life application of the looks by a makeup artist, according to ModiFace.

Parham Aarabi, founder and chief executive officer of ModiFace, said AR for trying on beauty products has evolved from a “nice utility” to a transformative technology. The next year is viewed as one with rapid growth for AR in the retail environment as merchants look for ways to build in experiences to keep shoppers coming into stores.