i3 | June 30, 2017

Tech Meets Beauty and Fashion

Susan Schreiner

Eighty years after the famous movie quote “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” was uttered in Snow White, this phrase has an updated twist. Technology including IoT, sensors, virtual and augmented reality as well as artificial intelligence (AI) now analyze problems, correct imperfections and teach proper techniques to enable one to become the “fairest in the land.”

The BeautyTech landscape is transforming to let consumers access insights and enhancement action plans in their homes. BeautyTech is also about retail technology, and offering consumers new ways to see themselves, on-demand personalization of clothing and making the shopping experience easier.

Products ranging from shoes that detect radiation and record conversations to life sensing trendy bracelets that read your vital signs on a smartphone to stylish clothes that monitor movement whether at the gym or an aging relative at home are in development. Technology is taking beauty and style to new heights at home and in-store. It will be interesting to watch how AI, VR and the IoT integrate in a connected, measured and analyzed future where tech meets beauty and fashion.

Beauty Tech and CES 2017

Here is a sample of a few new products that offer features previously reserved for expensive clinical or dermatologist visits.

Kérastase Hair Coach

The Kérastase Hair Coach, introduced at CES 2017, is the result of a three-way partnership between the L’Oréal technology incubator, Withings’ smart technology and Kérastase, L’Oréal’s luxury hair-care brand. This battery-powered brush contains a sensor that knows whether hair is wet or dry; analyzes the effects of heat (like straighteners) and products (like dye) on the hair’s health; and an accelerometer and gyroscope to measure the force of brush strokes. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity upload this information to an app, which analyzes the statistics and provides recommendations. This is one of five products developed through L’Oréal’s Tech incubator. L’Oréal believes its cosmetics should be connected and personalized.


HiMirror unveiled its new smart mirror that’s a virtual beauty and health consultant that analyzes your skin and recommends a treatment plan. This smart mirror can detect skin conditions by analyzing pores, fine lines, sun damage, wrinkles and overall complexion. HiMirror creates a personal improvement plan and recommends products to fix flaws. The touch-free design is controlled by using gesture or voice control and a companion app for HiMirror can play music from Spotify or stream YouTube videos.

Sonicare FlexCare Platinum

Toothcare is another BeautyTech category. Philips’ Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected toothbrush is a sensor-based toothbrush that monitors brushing performance, sends brushing data to your app via Bluetooth, and provides instant feedback. It also includes a coaching program so the user can set goals and receive personalized coaching, tips and alerts.

Beauty at Retail

Technology advancements are changing the retail experience using LCD marketing, interactive displays and video walls to enhance the shopping experience.

Neiman Marcus

Interactive mirror technology in the fitting room is being tested by Neiman Marcus in 20 stores to offer customers a 360-degree view to offer a side-by-side comparison without having to try on each outfit. They can even share the video with friends for feedback.


The Gap is introducing its “DressingRoom App” to enable consumers to try-on clothing remotely using their mobile devices with augmented reality. Made in collaboration with Google and app-developer Avametric, the app lets consumers enter their height and weight, and then choose from five standardized body types. A three-dimensional (headless) mannequin corresponding to those specifications appears on the screen, and then customers can try on different clothing on the mannequin to see how they look.

May/June 2017 i3 Cover Issue

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