January 10, 2018

AI-Infused Beauty Products Enthrall at CES

Alex Woodie

You may use shampoo infused with a certain blend of proteins and moisturizers, but is your shampoo data-driven? Can your bathroom mirror detect unsightly wrinkles on your face, and recommend a product to cover them? These are some examples of how artificial intelligence is being adopted in beauty products introduced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Here are five new beauty products introduced at CES 2018 in Las Vegas this week that are using data, artificial intelligence, and IoT tech in creative, innovative, and sometimes creepy new ways:

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Kohler received a lot of press for Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, a connected vanity that runs Alexa, Amazon’s personal assistant technology.

Users can ask their smart mirror to stream music, give them weather updates, and do other voice-enabled tasks without requiring another device on the countertop. They can also use voice commands to control light settings with the LED lights, including putting it into “shaving mode.” Alternatively, customers can use the Kohler Konnect app to issue commands.

Kohler’s smart mirror is part of a series of connected bathroom products from the company

The 145-year-old manufacturer from Kohler, Wisconsin actually has plans to bring your entire bathroom into the Internet age. According to CNET, the company just opened a Smart Home Experience Lab where it’s building showers, tubs, sinks, and toilets that connect to a home network.

The idea is to allow users to turn on water and flush toilets using voice-controlled home assistants, including Amazon’s Alexa but also Apple’s HomeKit Siri and Google Assistant. The new Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which reportedly debuts with a price tag of $999, is the only Kohler devices that actually houses Alexa at this time.

Hairy Algorithms

Henkel debuted SalonLab Analyzer, a handheld device that uses visible and near-infrared sensors to measure the condition, true color, and moisture level of hair. The data is then analyzed by a “proprietary algorithm” developed in association with Schwarzkopf Professional to recommend the optimal shampoo for a person’s actual hair.

Henkel uses “proprietery algorithms” to analyze hair data collected from its SalonLab Analyzer

The results of the algorithm are then fed into a shampoo-mixing machine that actually mixes the optimal blend of ingredients for that person’s hair. (We assume it also auto-generates conditioner, but there was no confirmation of this at press time.)

The approach heralds the arrival of data-driven hair analysis and optimized hair products, according to the company.

“With SalonLab, we are reinventing hair care with a hyper-personalized solution empowered by a holistic application of connected devices,” stated Marie-Eve Schroeder, chief marketing officer at Henkel Beauty Care, in a press release.

No pricing was available for SalonLab Analyzer, which is expected to debut in Europe later this year.

It’s Too Cold, Siri

Meanwhile, Moen used the CES 2018 show to announce that it’s adding voice control to its smart shower system, dubbed U by Moen.

Users can initiate a nice, warm shower in a hands-free fashion thanks to Siri integration in its U by Moen line of shower controllers

When Moen’s new shower launched last year, it gave users the capability to control the temperature using the U by Moen app on a smart phone. But thanks to the new integration with smart assistants users will be able to voice their temperature preference verbally.

U by Moen is now integrated with Alexa and will be hooked into Siri HomeKit later this year. When it’s hooked up to Siri, users will be able to pre-warm their shower with a voice command in their iOS device.

U by Moen will let users set up to 12 customized shower settings in their iPhone app, and users can also control temperatures with the five-inch LCD screen. The price is $1,160 for a two-outlet model and $2,200 for a four-outlet model.

‘Best Skin Ever’

You may have heard of customer 360 initiatives that seek to provide more data on customers. Now Neutrogena gives us Skin360 to provide us with more data on our skin, with the hope of achieving “your best skin ever.”

The Neutrogena SkinScanner features a 30x zoom lens

The Skin360 product costs just $50, and includes the “SkinScanner,” a close-up camera lens that attaches to your iPhone and functions like a microscope for your skin. The images are uploaded to the Skin360 app, which uses computer vision algorithms to detect moisture level, pores, and lines.

The Skin360 app uses the results of those algorithms to rate your skin on a scale of 1 to 100. It also generates recommendations for how you can improve your skin quality, which (not surprisingly) involves buying Neutrogena skincare products.

Wrinkly Recommendations

Also making a splash at CES 2018 is the HiMirror Mini, a new smart mirror designed to help users assess their skin’s condition, pick out makeup, and “beautify with intelligence,” the company says.

When it ships later this year, the HiMirror Mini will be able to detect features of the user’s face. Or as the Telegraph puts it, the HiMirror Mini “will criticise a user’s face and pick out flaws, spots, and wrinkles for them.”

The HiMirror uses a camera and “cloud-based big data” system to detect features and make skincare recommendations

The company says its mirrors “provides tips and recommendations on products that have worked for people with your skin type in environments similar to yours, based on data gathered via our anonymous cloud-based big data system.”

And with a built-in Alexa assistant, it can also give users the weather and other information.

Consumer and electronic goods makers are adding AI to their products at an unprecedented rate. A Samsung executive was heard saying that, by 2020, every Samsung product will have AI and IoT connectivity. An LG executive also said that the company is “adding AI to all of our appliances.”

Analysts predict that in just two years, the average home will have more than 35 smart devices connected to the network, and that the industry will generate more than $100 billion. And if the products introduced at CES 2018 this week are any indication, we’ll all be much happier and better looking too.

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