Writing in its international patent, L’Oréal said it had designed the smart skin treatment device to offer a range of functions, including sensitive cleansing, deep cleansing, pore cleansing, facial massaging, eye area massaging, makeup application and even skin rejuvenation or stimulation. The device responded to vocal cues from users but also based treatments and application intensity on individual skin needs thanks to a smart brush head comprised of sensors.
Verbal guidance for ‘improved user experience, device effectiveness’
During use, the device then provided audio feedback via a small speaker, guiding consumers through each step of a specific routine tailored to them and their needs. Instructions were timed to ensure user compliance and could range from guidance on when to move the brush from forehead to cheek, for example, or what type of movement to use and for how long.
“Verbal guidance provides more information for improved user experience, device effectiveness, user engagement, and/or the like,” L’Oréal wrote in its patent.
Verbal interactions and instructions could be broadened if the user linked the skin treatment device with their mobile or laptop.
There was also a visual display integrated into the device so consumers could see what treatment settings were being used at any given time.
Smarter over time – device able to ‘capture and store’ user data
L’Oréal said the device ultimately became smarter over time, eventually able to pre-empt user needs when switched on based on the time of day, day of the week or user history.
The device was able to capture and store data associated with usage patterns, user response to provided audio guidance, preferences and compliance, the company said, though all data communicated between users and the device was encrypted and/or anonymised in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
L’Oréal included visuals in its patent, depicting a circular cleansing brush head with a long handle for grip but specified there was “no intent to limit the concepts of the present disclosure to the particular forms disclosed”. All modifications, equivalents and alternatives by way of design were therefore also covered.
Beyond Clarisonic? Patent highlights smart facial cleansing NPD to come
L’Oréal already had a wealth of experience in facial cleansing devices because of its ownership of now-defunct brand Clarisonic that it acquired in 2011. The beauty major closed Clarisonic in September 2020, citing a need to refocus and invest new product development efforts into own-brand devices.
A L’Oréal spokesperson told CosmeticsDesign-Europe at the time: “Clarisonic has played an instrumental role in upskilling and ultimately expanding L’Oréal’s knowledge and expertise beyond cosmetics and personal care products to the benefit of all L’Oréal brands. L’Oréal will continue to leverage the know-how acquired through Clarisonic to continue to develop our own brands devices.”
L’Oréal still held the patent for Clarisonic’s oscillating brush head system that it was assigned back in 2014, though the patent was due to expire in 2024. L’Oréal had since filed its own patent, in August 2019, detailing a cleansing brush head for a facial skin cleansing appliance.
WIPO International Patent No. WO/2021/030465
Published on: February 18, 2021. Filed on: August 12, 2020.
Title: “Voice-cue based motorized skin treatment system”
Inventor: L’Oréal – J. Kissinger and D. Bayeh