Estee Lauder launches augmented reality

The AR program uses some of the latest advances in AI, including facial tracking.

Estee Lauder launched its first augmented reality (AR) product for the brand’s web and mobile sites. Powered by ModiFace, the technology adjusts for light, texture and shine so that users can virtually try on product shades using their photo or live video. The user remains on the product’s page on the brand’s e-commerce site. 

“We are delighted by our partnership with ModiFace which has resulted in an incredibly realistic and accurate representation of our products through augmented reality technology,” said Stephane de La Faverie, Estee Lauder global brand president. “We are especially delighted that this capability is provided to our consumers across all platforms, including mobile, web and tablet, directly on the product page where it can make the biggest impact.”

The AR program uses some of the latest advances in AI, including facial tracking to accurately map the contours of the eyes and lips in live video and WebGL, technology that creates virtual surfaces to model the textures and finishes of beauty products. 

Parham Aarabi, founder and CEO of ModiFace, commented that the partnership was just the beginning and that the tech company would continue to create AR applications for Estee Lauder. He reported that in general, conversions can increase by 84% when AR is added directly in the path to purchase.

Although the technology was just recently launched with Estee Lauder, ModiFace has been working with sister brand Smashbox since earlier this year. Within the first two weeks of launching, the tool was used more than 20,000 times, with a significant percentage of visitors to the Smashbox homepage trying out the face visualization technology. 

“In the past few years, we have made significant strides in the realism of our beauty AR technology, as well as advancements in ultra-precise live video makeup try-on,” Aarabi told FierceRetail. “What this means is that the results are instant, realistic and believable, all of which have helped consumers to view the technology from a nice and fun feature to a convincing shopping aid, thereby resulting in more sales. At the end of the day, with today's technology, brands are seeing an upside in conversions and they are embracing the technology faster than ever.”