Applying makeup can be challenging for visually impaired people, who often need to use their own sense of touch or rely on others to help complete some steps.
The arrival of a new app from Estée Lauder that provides voice prompts and checks application uniformity and coverage is intended to help visually impaired people more easily and confidently apply makeup.
Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) UK & Ireland has announced the development in a press release, explaining the Voice-Enabled Makeup Assistant (VMA) application is a first-of-its-kind, artificial intelligence-powered mobile app.
‘ELC’s ambition for the launch of VMA is to support the visually impaired community by further enabling self-expression and self-empowerment through their relationship with makeup,’ says company states.
How it works
The statement explains VMA’s pioneering smart mirror technology is driven by ELC’s Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence capabilities and was developed using machine learning.
VMA uses voice instruction technologies to assist the user in makeup application; users receive audio feedback and tips on whether their lipstick, eyeshadow, or foundation is evenly applied. Using AI, ELC’s VMA identifies makeup applied on a user’s face and assesses the uniformity and boundaries of application and coverage. VMA identifies any areas on the face that may require more accurate application and audibly describes where touch ups may be needed.
“We are committed to building innovative technology solutions that make beauty truly inclusive to everyone. We are thrilled to bring the experience of independently applying makeup to the millions of people that are visually impaired,” said Michael Smith, Chief Information Officer, The Estée Lauder Companies. “Technology is a powerful tool to drive inclusion and we are delighted to be first to market with this pioneering app.”
Stating it is the first generation of an app expected to be continually optimised and updated, the company says it worked with individuals within the visual impairment community on its development.
The VMA App will initially be available via the Apple App Store in the UK with the Estée Lauder brand in the UK the first to adopt and promote the technology. It is targeted to launch across other ELC brands and markets in the near future and will also be available on the Google Play store.
The announcement comes just days after L’Oreal launched its new HAPTA device, aimed to help people with limited mobility apply makeup.