Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of UnderArmour, addressed Consumer Electronics Show (CES) attendees at the 2017 annual show held in Las Vegas last week in a keynote speech, inquiring “What if Apple or Samsung started making apparel and footwear? What would they do, and how do we beat them to it?” With the almost endless options consumers have in choosing beauty brands and products, it is imperative that beauty companies begin to model UnderArmour’s thinking and ask themselves how they can move forward to create the next generation of gadgets for beauty. This is especially important as Samsung’s C-Lab announced its foray into the skin care market at this year’s CES through Lumini and S-Skin, its skin analysis devices and apps.
CES, an event where beauty tech was miniscule compared to the enormity of the show and even the multi-billion cosmetics and toiletries industry, was an eye-opening testament to the work that still needs to be done to innovate in the beauty space. Nevertheless, the conference showcased new technology that is sure to light a fire under beauty brands and companies that are under the impression that tech doesn’t belong in beauty.
Kline first covered both Perfect Corp and ModiFace in our Going Digital: Who’s Who in the World of Beauty Apps. A lot has changed with both companies since we last reported on the beauty apps world. Perfect Corp’s YouCam augmented reality beauty app has grown its top tier brand partners to over 110 and climbed its way to 370 million users, an approximate 640% growth in less than two years. ModiFace, on the other hand, has focused on growing its augmented reality for in-store use. Its software has rolled out to one Sephora store in the United States, and appearing in more Sephora stores nationwide will be a key focus of 2017.
However, beauty apps were not the only impressive tech showcased at the event. The future of the industry and where Kline sees beauty headed is in the diagnosis and personalization of a beauty routine. Two of the most impressive gadgets we saw were made by a Withing’s/L’Oréal collaboration and HiMirror. Both products were named CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honorees.
With L’Oréal’s commitment to technology ventures, it comes as no surprise that the company has hit a home run through its collaboration with tech company Withing’s and its Kérastase brand, through its Hair Coach. This device analyzes the quality of hair, scoring hair health on dryness, damage, breakage, and tangling, and also provides insights on how to better brush and care for hair through data on how the user brushes. On the other hand, HiMirror smart mirror and HiSkin at-home beauty skin analyzer work together to understand facial skin through analysis and tracking, recommending products for a user’s specific skin care routine.
Other companies, such as Coway, Samsung, and Elancyl, also showcased personalized approaches to beauty, and we at Kline are excited about what is to come in beauty tech in 2017 and beyond. Tech does belong in beauty. For more insights on beauty devices, please see our Beauty Devices: Global Market Analysis and Opportunities and Beauty Devices: Global Consumer Insights studies offering a complete view of the market, as well as consumer’s attitudes towards such products.
Written by Kelly Alexandre, Consumer Products Analyst