L'Oréal has just seized dozens of patents in AI and augmented reality as the group relies on facial recognition to sell its products

L'Oréal has just seized dozens of patents in AI and augmented reality as the group relies on facial recognition to sell its products

  • L’Oréal announced this Friday, March 16, 2018 the acquisition of ModiFace, a Canadian company specializing in augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI) applied to beauty.
  • The amount of the operation has not been disclosed, but ModiFace is a world-famous company, which has published 200 scientific articles and has filed about thirty patents.
  • This acquisition is in line with the ambitions of the French cosmetics giant in the digital field in recent years.

L’Oréal announced this Friday, March 16, 2018 the 100% takeover of ModiFace, a Canadian company specializing in augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI) applied to beauty.

In a statement, Lubomira Rochet, chief digital officer of the French cosmetics giant said:

“With its unparalleled teams and technologies, and its successive breakthroughs in beauty tech, ModiFace will contribute to reinventing the beauty experience around innovative services to help our consumers discover, try and choose products and brands. Our ambition for L’Oréal and ModiFace is to be the pioneers of this transformation of the beauty industry by offering our customers new services and experiences.”

Founded in 2007, ModiFace has designed technologies for a 3D virtual test of makeup, coloring and skin diagnosis, thanks to its proprietary know-how in face detection and color rendering.

The company, which employs nearly 70 engineers, researchers and scientists, has published 200 scientific articles and has filed about thirty patents in its field of expertise.

ModiFace counts among its clients recognized players in the cosmetics and beauty sector such as Estée Lauder, MAC, Sephora for its Virtual Artist application, as well as L’Oreal brands — Maybelline, Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Biotherm etc.

The amount of the transaction was not disclosed by both parties.

This acquisition is in line with L’Oréal’s digital strategy. The French group — whose online sales increased by 33.6% last year to reach 2 billion euros, reports the Financial Times – recently opened a startup incubator in Station F. Objective: to develop with young entrepreneurs new ideas, creations, services and even brands in the field of digital beauty.

Before that, the cosmetics group entered into partnerships with the Founders Factory startup platform and the Partech venture capital fund. Over the past four years, 1,700 employees have been recruited in the digital sector and 15,000 group employees have been trained in the field.

L’Oréal is no novice in the fields of augmented reality and AI: the group has developed an app called “Makeup Genius” that allows users to virtually try cosmetic products.

As Capital reminds us, R&D investments at l’Oréal are important since innovation contributes to 15% of the group’s annual sales.

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