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L’Oréal enters tech market with purchase of AR firm

Written by NTN staff
02/05/18

L’Oréal has made the first technology acquisition in its history, buying augmented reality and artificial intelligence company ModiFace.

ModiFace uses AI technology to let users render various skin, makeup, and hair effects with mobile apps that track facial features using video or photo capabilities.

It allows people to try out a hairstyle or try on lipstick without physically trying them on.
The use of AR can have many potential benefits in the health & beauty space, such as hair and skin colour, which has caught L’ Oréal’s eye. Indeed, ModiFace already powers L’Oreal’s Style My Hair among many other AR applications.

Reports suggest that this marks L’ Oréal’s first tech acquisition in its 109-year history and the first time a Fortune 500 beauty company has acquired a major technology company.

Stéphanie Binette, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of L’Oréal Canada, said that ModiFace will join L’Oréal’s Digital Services Factory. ModiFace will work with L’Oréal’s 34 brands to pioneer new innovations such as makeup and hair colour try-ons, shade finders, skin care diagnostic tools, and AI projects developed around beauty.

ModiFace currently employs approximately 70 engineers, researchers, and scientists. Its technology covers 30 patents and uses a “mixed-type deep learning” model.

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