Concept: Launched in January 2009, the EZface Virtual Mirror Kiosk is an addition to the EZface Virtual Mirror Web application, which was launched in 2001. For use in brick and mortar stores, the new kiosk application is a computerized beauty advisory designed to provide instant personalized makeup suggestions based on skin tone, eye color and other facial features. The system takes the consumer’s photo and instantly analyzes it for facial features and color profile. The consumer can than “try on” various products to see how they look. The virtual beauty makeover technology is designed to encourage consumers to try new looks based on sophisticated matching algorithms through an intuitive user interface. The technology is an open system and easily integrated into any E-commerce or CRM system.
The Team: With headquarters in the US and Israel, EZface is led by co-founder and CEO Rami Orpaz and co-founder and VP of Global Marketing Ruth Gal. Disappointed by the online beauty products shopping experience, Gal, a busy mom and professional woman, conceived a more true-to-life experience where shoppers could sample products that would more closely resemble an actual application on their skin. In 2000, Ruth partnered with current CEO Orpaz and launched a Web-based virtual mirror web application now in use by L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier and CoverGirl. The retail store-based virtual mirror kiosk began piloting in US markets this year.
Market Relevance: Consumers do not have the patience or tolerance to have to return products purchased that are not right for them. That’s especially true when it comes to beauty products, which should complement a woman’s facial features. Additionally, more consumers are exercising their right to return products they don’t like, leading to losses for retailers. This solution is designed to help retailers boost their ROI and encourage customer loyalty. As consumers cling more closely to their hard-earned dollar, successful retailers will increasingly turn to innovation to earn their business.
Delivery: The EZface Virtual Mirror Kiosk—a laptop-sized screen mounted on a beauty aisle wall—first snaps a headshot. Next, consumers can scan the product bar code to virtually apply almost any relevant beauty product on the face, eyes and lips. The system gives instant recommendations on any product scanned, offering products that are best fit to each consumer. Finally, consumers can review the new look, and make the purchase in-store. Currently, EZface is currently at work on an option to email the digital image to a friend for advice. Utilizing camera phones and large color displays, the VMA cellular adaptation is to designed to enable the delivery of rich and varied content direct to users via their cell phones with EZface Anywhere. Users can enjoy previews of the latest looks on their own photo, sent directly to their mobile phone, or the “create your own look” application wherever and whenever they like. Users can send their personalized photos to friends or to a printing service. The cellular application can be used in connectivity with EZface Virtual Mirror Web and In-Store Applications.
Proof Points: Maybelline New York won the 2008 Strategies Award for Youth in the Cell Phone Category with the EZface cellular application. EZface is currently piloting the technology in several locations of a major global retailer. The Virtual Mirror application has been applied to in-store kiosk, Web and mobile phone applications, delivering on a promise of highly accurate photorealistic si¬mula¬tion and a range of sophisticated marketing opportunities. The Virtual Mirror appli¬cation has been successfully implemented on more than 30 Internet sites and in nu¬merous in-store “try before you buy” kiosks worldwide.