Today, L’Oreal announced that it’s buying Modiface, a company that’s had a hand in the creation of many custom augmented reality beauty apps, including those from Estée Lauder and Sephora. While we don’t know the amount that was spend on the purchase, they did tell Reuters that it now owns Modiface’s numerous patents that help users visualize hairstyles and makeup on themselves.
L’Oreal acquiring Modiface makes sense because both parties have already worked together multiple times, including on the launch of the Style My Hair mobile app, which allows users to try on different hairstyles. For that app specifically, Modiface manually annotated 22,000 facial images to create the experience for users.
For the beauty industry, AR is become increasingly important. Meitu, a China-based company with an AR makeup app, is worth billions of dollars, so the market is huge. In terms of L’Oreal, they have launched multiple gadgets already too, like a UV nail sensor at CES this year. Many of these companies have relied on Modiface to launch their AP apps, the fact that L’Oreal was able to acquire the company is a major advantage over its competitors who will now have to find another company that’s in the AR beauty area.