Glimpses of future fashion and beauty tech at CES in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is a city that almost never sleeps, especially on and around the Strip, home to the city’s most famous casinos, like Caesar's Palace and the Bellagio. But the US city is home to a different kind of attraction during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, a mega trade show held annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center and several other venues in town. The latest edition of CES, hosting 170,000 visitors and 4,500 exhibitors, proved once again that Las Vegas is the place to visit in order to discover tomorrow’s technology for the beauty, fashion and retail industries.
Connected mirror technology is one of the beauty industry’s new frontiers, via companies such as HiMirror from Taiwan, which develops a range of products for both private and corporate clients, as Allen Hisieh explained to FashionNetwork.com. With the ‘Entreprise Lite’ and ‘Entreprise Pro’ models, HiMirror provides solutions for beauty institutes in the USA, Taiwan and Europe, where the company operates an office in the Netherlands.
“Our technology involves taking a picture of the person and sending it to our Cloud, where it is compared with a database of 10,000 faces. This enables the mirror to pick up information on wrinkles, reddening and blackheads, in order to offer bespoke skincare solutions,” said Hisieh. At the stand, HiMirror presented a series of solutions using Elisabeth Arden products. Other companies, like DermaMirror from South Korea or CareOS, presented similar technologies, based on facial recognition tools.
US brand Clartici instead uses a different type of skin-analysis technology. With its leading product, ICI, it employs a facial scanner applied directly on the skin. “Our device measures the skin’s hydration and oxygenation rates. This makes it possible to decide which cream to use to take care of one’s skin, and in which quantities,” said Anthony Crawford.
La Luer, a brand founded by Nicole Chau, utilises a device called Mira featuring six different technologies to “illuminate, hydrate and smooth out fine lines.” To do so, Mira employs light spectrum (red, blue and green), ultrasound and other technologies.
Nail Pop (winner of a CES Award) and O’2Nails presented nail-customisation solutions targeted to both the general public and manicure professionals. Nail Pop has created a mini printer that produces a wide variety of stickers that are then applied directly on the fingernails. Its main benefit is that customers can choose the colours and motifs they prefer - they can even make customised ones using an app - and the system is inexpensive, as the nail decorations come on stickers. The solution offered by Chinese company O’2Nails instead consists of applying fake nails, on which the chosen decorations are then printed.
In a different field, French company Bic presented the first connected razor, dubbed ‘The Next Bic Thing’, linked with a collaborative web platform and developed by French start-up Invoxia. Bic announced that the product will not be commercialised yet, but will be sent to 500 consumers who have signed up on the site. The platform will then pick up information on the shaving experience, from speed to number of strokes to beard density. The goal is to learn more about shaving habits in order to create the razors of tomorrow.
Showing how outfits look under different types of light
CES also showcased several new retail-related technologies, such as those by French start-ups Karl Tech and Visiperf. Karl Tech was founded by Stefano Zangiacomi and Hugo Affaticati, and it offers a solution to improve the efficiency of online product catalogues.
“Our technology creates filters that enable customers to see the clothes under different types of light: evening light, daylight and artificial light. Customers can have a better idea [of the clothes], and this reduces returns. We are currently working with [streetwear label] Weamer, and we are in contact with several other brands and distributors,” said the co-founders.
Visiperf presented Visiretail, a tool that enables franchised stores and master franchisors to create geographically targeted advertising, and to stage promotional campaigns supported by digital tools.
More on the visual side, Chinese company Royole showcased its know-how in flexible digital screens adaptable to all kinds of devices and materials. The company’s stand featured T-shirts, hats and handbags equipped with such screens. “With Royole, brands are able to broadcast any message they want. There are no limits,” said Marta Afonso, in charge of marketing for Royole, which last year collaborated with Louis Vuitton.
US company HyperVSN, working with Adidas, Nike, Puma, Louis Vuitton and Levi’s, presented a laser technology which simulates 3D objects such as shoes or jewellery, to create virtual stores.
Chinese company 4Paradigm introduced its AI+Retail solutions, capable of forecasting consumer purchases. One of the main attractions at LG was the ThinQ Fit smart fitting room, equipped with 3D cameras to calculate the user's dress size. “It generates a realistic avatar which can showcase virtual outfits. The technology can leverage big data to suggest styles and link out to websites able to guide the user in its purchases,” said Sam Rounds at the LG stand.
Clothes that say a lot about you
Apparel and accessories were also on show at CES Las Vegas. Canadian company Myant unveiled Skiin, a range of connected clothes. Myant’s sensor-equipped products are made in Toronto, and are able to track an array of bio-metric data, from activity levels to stress, body temperature and more.
“We can produce T-shirts, bras and other types of apparel. The first Skiin products will be launched in the USA and Canada in April, but we are also looking at Europe and Asia,” said Product Manager Matija Vugrinicek.
In the accessories field, Italian company e-Novia made an impression with its Wahu shoes, which can inflate and deflate by up to 8 mm and a pressure of 2.5 bar. Also worth mentioning is Welt, with its connected belt made of Italian leather. The belt is linked to an app and, thanks to a series of sensors, it measures walking speed, number of steps and the pressure exercised on each leg.
By Alex Palpatine
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