L’Oreal Acquires AI-Driven Interactive Beauty Mirror Software Firm ModiFace

March 16, 2018 by Dave Haynes

French beauty products giant L’Oreal has acquired ModiFace, a Toronto software shop that had carved a very active niche in AI-driven augmented reality experiences like interactive mirrors.

ModiFace has done a series of very active 3-D virtual mirrors for top retail beauty brands like Sephora, as well as a lot of work for smartphone apps and even manufacturers.

The company has some 70 engineers and the people who run it very smartly created developer kits that allow apps developers and hardware guys to work with the ModiFace SDK, as opposed to ModiFace trying to sell its own proprietary solutions. In effect, they’re under the hood of a bunch of experiences from different vendors.

Here’s some of the serious science going on here:

L’Oreal says the acquisition is in line with its digital acceleration strategy. “ModiFace will support the reinvention of the beauty experience around innovative services to help our customers discover, try and choose products and brands,” said Lubomira Rochet, chief digital officer at L’Oreal, in the announcement.

ModiFace will be part of L’Oreal’s digital services factory and remain based in Toronto. No deal terms were released.

This is not digital signage but this sort of interactive work in stores is the stuff that, when done this well, really makes the case for interactive digital around retail settings. There’s a good case for endless aisle applications and other product lookups, but something like this that speeds up and improves product selection (without making women try endless samples) and THEN collects a pile of data, really has something going on.

Click on this tweet to see an interactive mirror in action. The impressive thing is the snappiness and accuracy of this. It doesn’t have any of the gimmicky, clunkiness of some virtual apps I’ve seen.

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