Augmented human: Mintel on smart beauty tech

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Augmented human: Mintel on smart beauty tech

Related tags Mintel

Mintel, market research firm, has observed several major trends taking the beauty industry forward and driving innovation: augmented human is one at the forefront of the industry.

The firm explains that enthusiasm for technology that blurs the line between human and device is on the up globally, with consumers keen to be in charge of their individual health and beauty needs.

Appetite in EMEA markets

Various figures point to this mounting enthusiasm: in the EMEA region, 53% of UK consumers aged 16-24 are interested in virtually trying out makeup products using a beauty app, according to the firm.

A quarter of UK consumers are interested in devices that track the water temperature and time spent in the shower/bath, and nearly half (48%) of sun care users would be interested in an app that can be used to track changes in their skin or moles.

What exists now?

The industry has already begun to respond to these demands, Mintel observes. One leading example is Romy Paris’s Figure device, which the brand describes as a ‘beauty assistant’.

The device blends active ingredients into a serum or cream relevant to a skin’s specific needs, as determined by a smartphone app.

When it comes to sun care, one interesting device is Sunscreenr, a gadget that can detect how well a consumer has applied sun products and so gauge how protected they are.

Retail is now meeting the craze for smartphone-based virtual reality: Chinese online retailer Yihaodian has set up 1000 virtual stores in carparks, parks and by famous landmarks, only visible via an app.

What’s ahead?

Mintel suggests there are various areas where progress is already being made to take beauty even further in this trend of the ‘augmented human’.

Wearables are leading the way: projection technology is allowing devices to provide screen functionality on skin, while microchips in conjunction with wearable devices will offer retail new avenues for payments.

At the same time, these devices can offer a diagnostic function, meaning the tech could select and buy the most relevant product, with little to no active involvement from the consumer.

Lastly, Mintel suggests 3D makeup pens may take us forward with precise customisation. ADORN has launched the world’s first device able to detect and print a foundation that is precision-matched to your skin.

Technology opens up a world of possibilities for color cosmetics for consumers to attain the colours that work best for them​,” states the firm.

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