L’Oreal Unveils HAPTA And Brow Magic, Two CES Innovation Award-Winning Technologies

The L’Oréal Groupe today at CES 2023 unveiled two new technology prototypes that expand access to beauty expression. HAPTA, the first handheld, ultra-precise computerized makeup applicator, is designed to advance the beauty needs of people with limited hand and arm mobility. L’Oréal Brow Magic, is the first at-home electronic eyebrow makeup applicator that provides users with bespoke brows in seconds.

The company has developed innovative technology in the past few years to help hair salons save water, and offer consumers a streamlined tool to apply hair color without the usual mess. With 20 research centers across 11 countries around the world and a dedicated Research and Innovation team of over 4,000 scientists and 3,000 tech professionals, L’Oréal is focused on inventing the future of beauty and becoming a beauty tech powerhouse.

“For L’Oréal, the future of beauty is inclusive. And this future will be made more accessible by technology,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of the L’Oréal Groupe. “The two consumer technologies we are unveiling this year at CES represent the true purpose of our company: to create the beauty that moves the world.”

“When beauty and technology and creativity come together to solve big challenges, and make people’s lives better, is when I feel we’ve done a good job and succeeded,” said Guive Balooch, L’Oréal Global Head of Research and Innovation’s Tech Incubator. “This year, we’re really excited about our launches. We have two and they both fall under this area of accessibility and assisted technology.”

HAPTA is the result of a collaboration between L’Oréal and Verily, a California health-tech company. The technology uses multiple sensors and machine learning that was originally used for a spoon for people who have mobility and motor skills challenges to be able to feed themselves.

There’s 40 million people in the U.S. with movement disorders that prevent them from doing daily tasks, Balooch said, adding, “That’s more than one in 10. It’s a huge population.”

Under development by L’Oréal scientists and engineers, HAPTA is a handheld, ultra-precise smart makeup applicator for users with limited hand and arm mobility, offering them the ability to steadily apply lipstick at home. HAPTA will incorporate technology originally created by Verily to stabilize and level utensils to give people with limited hand and arm mobility the ability to eat with confidence and independence.

When Verily created its spoon, called Liftware, the company heard from consumers who said they’d like to be able to apply makeup because they’re not able to do so on their own. “Customers were saying, ‘We love that we can now eat,’” said Balooch. “It’s really magical because the technology will understand in real time the way that a customer’s arm and hand moves or shakes and it will adjust the spoon and allow it to be steady and go to the mouth.

“We collaborated with them,” Balooch said, referring to Verily. “We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a version of their technology that we could work with and it would allow people to apply lipstick for the first time and other makeup products in the future in a population of people that because of their fingers and arms, couldn’t do it before.’”

HAPTA was developed for use with L’Oréal’s prestige Lancome brand. “It’s a beautiful product, it uses the core technology of Liftware, but it’s been optimized for use as an applicator of lipstick and makeup products, and so it’s quite incredible,” said Balooch. “Someone with Cerebral Palsy, someone who has a tremor, and someone who had a stroke can now apply the makeup products they always dreamed of applying, now that they have the system’s technology.”

Balooch said L’Oréal is actively working on new color cosmetic categories. “Our hope would be that every year we’ll unveil a new product,” he said. “We’re working on mascara as well, and then we’ll do eyeshadow and blush and foundation. In the coming two to three years we’ll be able to test, adjust and bring new versions of makeup applicators to the market.”

The applicator requires an investment of about $199. “It would be a mistake to think that this population doesn’t have the spending power to buy it, but it’s not so expensive,” said Balooch. “We’ll make it as accessible as possible with regard to price. In the end, it’s a one-time investment. We’ll find ways to make it more accessible over time.”

Brow Magic is similar to HAPTA in that it allows users to achieve results with makeup that they couldn’t do with their bare hands. “Today, if you want to shape your brows, you have to go to a makeup artist or someone who really knows how to do it,” Balooch said. “At home, you have pencils that color the brows, but doing it at home is very challenging.”

Some consumers opt for brow tattoos, but that can be expensive and time-consuming. Priced between $149 and $199, Brow Magic gives the general population the ability to create customized brow looks with the help of the device.

“There’s this gap,” said Balooch. “We worked with a Korean company called Prinker, a pioneer in printed, non-permanent tattoos, which developed a micro ink jet printer. Basically, they’ve taken jet printing and made it so small it can fit in the palm of your hand and dispense inks that are good for the skin – cosmetic grade inks.”

Partnering with Prinker’s technology, on their app, Brow Magic analyses your face through AI and recommends a brow shape. “You can adjust it if you don’t like the recommendation,” Balooch said. “It then shows you in real time with augmented reality what the brows will look like.

“If you like the shape, you put the device on the top of your nose and swipe it to the right and swipe it to the left,” Balooch added. “The device has multiple sensors so it will see how fast you’re swiping and it will print hundreds of little hair-like structures on the skin and around your brows and automatically shape your brows. This is almost impossible to do at home with your hands.”

If plucking is required to get the desired shape, L’Oréal will embed in the second wave of technology a feature that analyses the brows and gives instructions on plucking. “In the first version of the product, we’ll take the hairs that you have and tell you how to get the shape that you want without plucking,” Balooch said. “Then, of course people can always pluck afterwards. We’ll add that as a feature over time.”

HAPTA is about a year away from its launch, and Brow Magic will launch in a little under a year. “Both products use technology that your fingers and hands wouldn’t be able to do alone,” Balooch said. “If you think about what people are trying to do with autonomous vehicles and autonomous health, we hope that one day there will be this autonomous beauty and people won’t need to worry about their fingers and hands or even their motor skills being a barrier to achieving what they want.”

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sharonedelson/2023/01/04/loreal-unveils-hapta-and-brow-magic-two-ces-innovation-award-winning-technologies/