The investment in the equipment taps into the fast-growing trend for personalised cosmetic and personal care products that are tailored to consumers specific beauty requirements.
The technology is being used in conjunction with the retailer’s eponymous No7 Foundation collection, and 1,000 of the brand's advisors have been trained to use the handheld devices, to carry out what Boots refers to as the ‘No7 Foundation Match Made Service’.
Camera technology takes a total of 27 photos in 2 seconds
Known as the handheld X-Rite spectrocolourimeter, the device uses camera technology that is said to illuminate the skin from three different directions while simultaneously recording a total of 27 colour-accurate images in rapid succession to give accurate results that are said to eliminate shadows and interference inherent in photos of textured surfaces.
The technology relies on eight different illuminations and one ultraviolet illumination, which is said to give a more accurate definition of the skin tone in colour terms, compared to traditional colourimeters that have a standard three illuminations comprised of red, green and blue light.
"Personalization is the future of cosmetics," said Matthew Adby, Product and Market Manager for X-Rite. "People are embracing the use of technology to help them to decide easily what cosmetic they want from today's many choices."
Adby added that, although some cosmetics manufacturers have used his company's instrumentation on a large scale to check individual’s skin hydration in the past, this is the largest single rollout of a system checking skin tones.
Boots spent three years to research the project
The collaboration between Boots and X-Rite is the result of three years of research and development on the part of Boots to development the No7 Foundation Match Made Service.
Boots says that during the research it assessed the skin tones of over 2,000 British women to create a new palette of skin-true foundation shades for the No7 range.
"Our researchers found that 78 percent of women in the UK said they would change their foundation if they could find a better match," said Joanne Watson, innovation technologist, Boots UK.
"Our customers who have used the No7 Foundation Match Made Service say it delivers on providing accurate, better matches. They are very, very satisfied with the results."