Vidal Sassoon AR app lets you try different hair color shades virtually

[VS Shades and other ModiFace apps that let users experiment with changing their appearance demonstrate the presence-evoking potential of augmented reality; this is from the PSFK blog, which features more images. –Matthew]

VS Shades app screenshots

Give Any Hair Color a Virtual Try

With the VS Shades app, you can try on Vidal Sassoon Hair Colors without the commitment and potentially bad decisions

Leo Lutero
14 august 2015

A new app will let consumers try on Vidal Sassoon Hair Colors before getting them in real life. Through a virtual try before buy, the VS Shades app [Android; IOS] illustrates how augmented reality can help shoppers in the cosmetics section.

The Vidal Sassoon name has always been associated with cutting edge and the move to use augmented reality to market its products comes naturally. The new app from the brand allows people to try on their hair color shades with a few simple taps. From a panel below, users can change their hair shades to any of the 24 featured in the app. With social media integration, users can even share their photos and ask friends to pitch in thoughts. Each color in the pallet links to how-tos and product information so users can turn their virtual hairstyles into actual ones using VS products.

The technology behind the app comes from ModiFace, a popular mobile editing app which leverages more powerful mobile devices and better cameras to create stunning edits, all with the simplest drags and taps on tiny screens. Because of its face detection technology and particular focus in beauty, the ModiFace app even offers a Virtual Makeover function that matches make-up shades with algorithms.

Cosmetics have a lot of potential in engaging customers with augmented reality. If you’ve even peeked into a cosmetics shelf, you will know there are thousands of shades to choose from and homing in on one can be tough. Because AR offers an experience unique to each user, it allows better exploration of what a make-up brand offers without the immediate purchase.

Looking Glass, another ModiFace product, integrates the virtual make-up tech in online ads.

Makeover mobile apps have long been gamified and the outcomes were usually more comedic than aspirational. This novel approach is another way of ecommerce moving into mobile platforms and working with what is already there. PSFK has previously reported on the Net-a-Porter app that married online social space and online retail. A paper even proved that machine vision can gauge “fashionability” and suggest edits by culling approval ratings from fashion websites.

Many past renditions for the future of AR showed landscapes layered with information. With apps like VS Shades, it shows the front-facing camera can have just as much AR applications as the one in the back.

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