Sure, it's the giving season, but sometimes you've just got to treat yourself to some cosmetics.
If you're shopping at Walmart, L'Oreal just made that a shade easier when shopping for Garnier hair color products with an assist from Google Lens and the Modiface AR platform.
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Walmart customers can use Google Lens — available via the standalone Google Lens app on Android, Google Assistant on Android, or the Google app for iOS — to scan boxes of Nutrisse and Olia products to access the virtual try-on tool.
The AR doesn't take place in Google Lens though, it's merely the conduit. Upon recognizing the box, the app pulls up the Garnier website for the specific product, where the Modiface-powered virtual try-on actually takes place. From there, customers can actually order the product online,or grab the product right in front of them.
"With our Google Lens pilot at Walmart, we are leveraging advanced technology and consumer insights to redefine retail," said Nathalie Gerschtein, president of the consumer products division of L'Oréal USA, in a statement provided to Next Reality. "Our consumers are seeking increasingly personalized experiences and want to know what products are right for them, particularly for higher commitment categories like hair color. As the leading beauty tech company, we are bringing digital touch-points to physical stores in collaboration with the industry leaders in tech and retail."
Google Lens is just the latest implementation of Modiface. Since L'Oreal acquired Modiface in 2018, the cosmetics maker has integrated the platform into some high-profile AR platforms and features, including virtual try-on tools for Amazon, Facebook, and Samsung Galaxy devices.
Coincidentally, Google also has a competing product for the Modiface platform, with YouTube supplying virtual try-on tools for influencers and brands. That's not to be confused with Perfect Corp's YouCam, which also offers cosmetics AR for Sally Beauty and Target.
The partnership marks a new marketing AR feature for the Google Lens tool. To date, brands have leveraged Google Lens for image recognition-based AR experiences, with Netflix and Nintendo among the companies implementing AR experiences for the app.
"With Google Lens, we want to help people search what they see and get things done throughout their day," said Eddie Chung, director of product management for AR and Google Lens at Google. "We're excited to work with L'Oréal and Garnier to seamlessly connect their products in-store with their virtual try-on experience so people can make more informed decisions when searching for the right Garnier shade."
Between the computer vision tools of Google Lens, 3D content in Google Search (now made more realistic in AR via the ARCore Depth API), the YouTube virtual try-on features, and immersive advertising formats, Google has the potential to muscle in on the advertising turf currently dominated by the AR platforms of Snapchat and Facebook.