Sony develops a device that spots 'invisible' skin blotches

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Electronic specialist Sony has turned its focus to the cosmetics industry by developing a device that can analyze the condition of the skin whilst also being able to detect blemishes before they appear, thanks to cleverly placed image sensors.

The Smart Skin Evaluation Program (SSKEP) has been designed to analyze texture, blemishes, sores, brightness and color in an attempt to provide targeted treatments and skin care products that ultimately aim to enhance the quality, health and appearance of the complexion.

According to the global giant, image sensor technology was initially designed with digital cameras in mind but has now been found to be useful in detecting what is invisible to the naked eye, like pigments deep in the skin, that have the potential to become blotches for example.

The device although still in the developmental stages, was revealed in its’ prototype form last week in the shape of a phone receiver which displayed the condition of the skin, the extent of the pores' opening and other anomalies that are normally difficult to spot by pressing a monitor against the skin.

Clever technology

According to Sony, the sensor is composed of a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor or CMOS that collects two types of light that bounces off of the skin, which in turn gathers imaging data that then transfers it to a software that examines skin conditions.


The equipment can analyze the underlying state of the skin using infrared rays, allowing the user to tell how much melanin pigment, which creates blotches, has accumulated​.”


While some skin analysers can be bulky, expensive or lack in terms of accuracy, the electronics expert says it has designed this device to be as accurate as professional-level equipment but at a more affordable price so that the customers can use it at home.

The product has been initially aimed at the Asian cosmetics market, and Sony plans to market the device next year with the help of cosmetic or advertising companies.

Cosmetic device market booming

As the skin care beauty devices market continues to grow, both cosmetic manufacturers and companies with no previous experience in the sector are starting to see the benefits of developing affordable take home kits.  

Fujitsu is one such company that has developed its latest smartphone to incorporate an application that serves a similar purpose to that of Sony's device.

Whilst elsewhere, Japanese companies Shiseido and Panasonic joined forces for Panasonic’s 'Ultrasonic Beauty Device Handy Mist', a portable moisturising device which seen Shiseido creating a special 30ml size of its AquaLabel moisture lotion for the product.

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