Augmented reality or AR software has become increasingly popular over the last few years. While games like Pokemon Go might have introduced many mobile users to AR as a gameplay mechanic, apps like Snapchat have driven the fun home with simple and easy-to-use AR-based filters that can digitally change the user's appearance. AR's biggest draw is its ability to superimpose digital images over the real world, and as it turns out, cosmetics company L'Oreal has dreamed up a use for AR that will capitalize on users' desires to change their personal appearance.
As reported by The Verge, the French cosmetics manufacturer has recently purchased Canadian AR-based app Modiface, a company that has produced a number of AR apps for the likes of Estee Lauder and Sephora. In essence, Modiface software is able to use mobile hardware in order point out flaws in a user's face. Using the app, the user can scan their face to have the software point out features such as wrinkles, freckles, pimples, and more, then suggest cosmetic items that can be used to lessen the appearance of said features.
As opposed to AR efforts like the Ikea app, which allows users to place digital renditions of real-world furniture about their homes, Modiface is not necessarily designed around flights of fancy — that is, it isn't necessarily meant for users to superimpose a bunch of different cosmetic items onto their faces to see which ones they like best. Instead, it seems the app specifically focuses on areas its developers have outlined as potential places for improvement.
Of course, to put it another way, Modiface is an application that serves to highlight its users' perceived "ugly" features, then sell them on ways that they may improve their physical appearance. From a business standpoint, this makes perfect sense, but there's little doubt that some mobile users won't take too kindly to an app that essentially judges users' looks and then tries to sell them on ways to change themselves.
We don't yet know just what L'Oreal has planned with the Modiface software, nor do we know exactly what the company paid to bring the code under its umbrella, but we'll certainly follow up with more information as it becomes available.