Cosmetics maker Coty is hanging an augmented reality Magic Mirror on the wall of its Bourjois boutique in Paris that will tell customers which shade of makeup will make them the fairest of them all.
And while the concept of AR-powered cosmetics marketing isn't new, Coty's version has another trick up its sleeve.
Using computer vision, the Magic Mirror can recognize products from the company's Bourjois Rouge Velvet Lipstick collection when customers hold them up in front of the device's camera, after which the panel shows the user what the makeup looks like on their face. The Magic Mirror also recommends and previews eye makeup and blush that match the shopper's skin tone.
And because this is the beauty industry we're talking about here, customers can also capture their virtual looks in a photo that they can later share with their friends. Customers can also print the image in-store or use the device to email themselves the product's details and online links for purchase later via Boujois's webstore. Currently, the Magic Mirror device provides three additional AR effects to liven up the photo beyond makeup treatments.
"As part of our desire to reinvent the retail experience through purposeful and personalized innovation, the Bourjois Magic Mirror represents the most extensive integration of physical products and digital content in the beauty industry," said Elodie Levy, global digital innovation senior director for Coty, in a statement. "Most women intuitively prefer to play with a lipstick rather than touch a screen, as there is an inherent sensual aspect in cosmetics packaging that no technology can replace, and our new Magic Mirror provides this desired experience to shoppers."
L'Oréal acquiring cosmetics augmented reality company Modiface last month left some questions about how Modiface's business relationships with other major makeup makers might continue. Similarly, questions swirled as to what opportunities might exist for other technology firms to swoop in on competing makeup brands uninterested in being so closely tied to L'Oréal for an AR makeup solution.
"Approaching this collaboration research first, design second, and technology third, we've partnered with Coty to create the next generation of the Magic Mirror, blending consumer insight and strategic UX to facilitate a bespoke, personalized experience," said Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of Holition, in a statement.
Regarding the technology, PERCH's smart camera looks for products to appear in front of the mirror, which triggers Holition's software to begin the AR experience.
"The next generation of in-store marketing is about blending digital experiences naturally into the shopper journey," said Trevor Sumner, CEO of PERCH Interactive. "The Bourjois Magic Mirror uses computer vision to sense the most important indication of interest in physical retail — when a shopper touches a product — unlocking an experience that encourages natural pathways of discovery, education and engagement."
So despite potentially industry-shifting deals like L'Oreal's Modiface grab, the cosmetics industry can nevertheless breathe a sigh of relief now that it's clear that other options exist.