Could smart mirrors transform the post-pandemic shopping experience?

While Japanese manufacturer AGC recently introduced a smart mirror that can help users try out makeup virtually while also getting expert advice from beauty pros, will these tools will these tools become more common in beauty shops in the wake of new hygiene requirements linked to the Covid-19 pandemic?

Renew the shopping experience

When implemented in an outlet, this kind of innovation allows virtual product testing and could help limit physical contact while renewing the shopping experience.

In the age of social distancing, brands and manufacturers of all kinds have been getting creative to develop tools that bring the services customers used to enjoy in stores into people’s homes. As a result, the beauty world has flourished with a host of applications dedicated entirely to hair colouring or virtual makeup, offering a helping hand to those who haven’t been able to test products in real life during covid-19 lockdowns.

Beyond makeup and skincare, new digital solutions are also making their way in the world of perfumes. The Multiscent20 solution from the Brazilian start-up Noar, for instance, has been implemented by Natura in their new phygital concept store in São Paulo and is now marketed worldwide by Orlandi.

Virtual advices and high quality image

Whether it’s Meitu’s Magic Mirror or the YouCam virtual reality solutions developed by Perfect Corp, virtual testing is already well established in the makeup world. Now, the Japanese manufacturer AGC is going even further with a new smart mirror that could be used to transform the shopping experience in department stores or standalone beauty stores.

The device, called Mirroria, uses artificial intelligence to bring users virtual advice from beauty pros. It takes the form of a classic mirror placed on top of a built-in monitor, using an optical technology to create a mirror that doesn’t require metal film.

This is what makes Mirroria different from other smart mirrors, an AGC official told Nikkei Asia, and this apparently improves image sharpness both on the mirror and on the screen. When used with specific applications, the mirror also lets users try out all kinds of makeup to see the results virtually before making a purchase.

According to the Japanese business publication, this innovation – designed to limit face-to-face contact with in-store beauty advisors in pandemic times – is expected to go on sale from the first half of 2021.

A booming market

The market for smart mirrors is currently booming and is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of between 12% and 14% by 2025, according to several analysts. In any case, these devices look set to soon join the wealth of beauty innovations available in stores, especially since their potential field of application is very wide.

Based on the innovations presented at the latest CES in Las Vegas, in 2019 and 2020, as well as makeup, smart mirrors could be used to help customers make choices on hair colors, contact lenses, or even tattoos.