Simulator foresees made-up face

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A new device developped by a Japanese cosmectics company enables women to apply makeup to their faces in virtual reality.

The new Digital Cosmetic Mirror developed by Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido Co. is the latest version of a technology that was first introduced in 1998, but at that time only used still photos to give an image of what makeup would look like on a person's face.

The newest gadget goes well beyond that, according to Shiseido spokesman Shigesato Kobayashi.

"We have about 15 of these units and we set them up in department stores across Japan when we have a special campaign going on," he told Relaxnews.

"Shiseido recently operated one at the Takashimaya store in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, incorporating all the latest functions," he said. "Other simulators have only given a flat image of the face and there was no way to show the makeup on the face if the user's head turned, for example.

"Our system allows the person to turn their head and the makeup will follow the face, giving an accurate image of what it looks like from every angle," he said. "And that's why we call it a mirror."

Devised by the company's Beauty Solution Development Centre, some of the system's functions can also be found on the company website.

The mirror works by scanning the user's face, after which the person can use the touch-screen interface to have different types of makeup applied to their image.

Those products are painted onto the virtual image in real time and can be instantly erased and replaced with new shades and designs.

The user is also able to print out "before" and "after" images and select the look that they like best. The print-out also identifies the most appropriate product to achieve the required look.

As well as being an eye-catching innovation in a nation that loves gadgets - and an excellent example of "tryvertising" - the Digital Cosmetic Mirror also cuts down on the waste inherent in traditional sampling of makeup products.