How fashion and beauty should follow CES

Like fashion week, CES, the consumer electronics tech showcase in Las Vegas, enjoys shining a light on the latest products and trends that will fascinate people in the weeks and months to come.

Despite this, the show has never been a regular stop on the fashion and beauty circuit – except perhaps for the most tech-driven brands and platforms. Look closely to spot companies like L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Fossil, Perfect Corp. and others eager to tell their stories of innovation, identify intriguing new partnerships or showcase their latest achievements, products and projects.

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L’Oréal Group’s fascination with beauty hardware and intelligence has led the company to unveil two new makeup application devices at the show called Hapta and Brow Magic. Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s technology incubator, told WWD that they fit into a broader goal of using technology to ensure that “our fingers and hands are no longer obstacles to achieving the results we want.”

L'Oréal's Hapta helps people with fine motor skills apply makeup, starting with lipstick.

L’Oréal’s Hapta helps people with fine motor skills apply makeup, starting with lipstick.

Unlike previous years, Procter & Gamble did not present new products or organize an exhibition this time. But it announced its presence by sending Kelly Anderson, director of R&D for data science and artificial intelligence, to talk about the company’s approach to data science and partnering with startups to keep fresh ideas and innovation flowing.

“AI and data — high-quality proprietary data — are part of our digital transformation strategy to disrupt the way we innovate, bringing products to market faster, better and cheaper,” Anderson said in exclusive comments to WWD. “It helps us get a really deep understanding of consumer behavior, what they want to achieve and helps us design the best possible products to achieve that for them.

“We are strategic external partners, both with academics, obviously, for understanding the basic sciences, [and] with startups, especially because in the world of artificial intelligence, technology moves very, very quickly from academia to startups to large enterprises.”

Perfect Corp., an AI and augmented reality platform for beauty and more accessories, has also become a regular at CES. Just ahead of the show, the company announced a virtual glasses try-on solution, with “a streamlined automated modeling process that simplifies 3D sku creation by introducing an easy-to-adopt, self-service platform for brands to digitize their product range in a fraction of the time,” according to the company.

Essentially, the 3D virtual glasses creation process he devised was created to replace complicated, multi-dimensional scanning processes with automatic 3D rendering “using just three flat images of the product to create a unique live camera view.”

Perfect Corp.  announced new virtual glasses <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" cilj="_prazan" podaci-ylk="slk: tehnologija" klasa="veza ">technology</a> at CES 2023.” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY3NA–/ en/wwd_409/d6e91e7893e8ae294e70e9b2e838c65f”/><noscript><img alt=technology at CES 2023.” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY3NA–/ wwd_409/d6e91e7893e8ae294e70e9b2e838c65f” class=”caas-img”/>
Perfect Corp. announced new virtual glasses technology at CES 2023.

Adam Gant, Chief Marketing Officer of Perfect Corp., was also spotted at the CES panel on solving retail’s biggest challenges. The conversation focused on six specific technology trends identified by the company, including sustainability, the return of physical retail, artificial intelligence-based skin technology, the rise of AI and AR for fashion accessories, personalization intelligence and virtual commerce through Web 3.0 and other immersive experiences.

Of course, the larger exhibition highlights some of those points, especially the latter, as dozens of exhibitors had mixed reality, NFT and blockchain, metaverse, Web 3.0 and related trends in mind.

WWD caught up with one tech company whose wearable technology aims to bridge fashion and a virtual experience similar to augmented reality, but in a more practical way. Vuzix has announced a new Ultralite reference device that visually extends smartphone notifications to your eyes, but without the bulky and irritatingly short battery life.

As Paul Travers, president, CEO and founder of Vuzix, explained to WWD, the company’s approach to waveguide technology allows for a thinner form factor without skimping on resolution and quality. “It’s all about thinness and sexiness [and] modern,” he said. “The screens can be super tiny, up in the corner hidden in the frames. And the lenses are 0.6 millimeters thin. So you have this form factor that you can put in glasses.”

Vuzix Ultralite uses waveguide technology to create incredibly thin smart glasses — and brands are taking notice and flocking to the booth, according to the company.

Vuzix Ultralite uses waveguide technology to create incredibly thin smart glasses — and brands are taking notice and flocking to the booth, according to the company.

The premise seems particularly interesting, given the buzz about Apple reportedly on the verge of releasing its own smart glasses or mixed reality headsets. So it’s no surprise that major tech and fashion brands have shown interest in Ultralite. Travers did not name specific companies, but hinted at the feasibility of the Ultralite reference design arriving under the banner of a globally recognized consumer brand as early as this fall.

Wearable technology and fashion have become so overwhelming that even celebrities like Paula Abdul are getting in on the act. The dancer/singer saw fit to bring her IdolEyes fashion audio glasses to CES, while plenty of wrist gizmos were also spotted, including Fossil’s latest sixth-generation wellness-oriented hybrid watch.

Paul Abdul presents IdolEyes bluetooth-streaming tech glasses at CES.

Paul Abdul presents IdolEyes bluetooth-streaming tech glasses at CES.

Apparently, fashion-focused technology has moved from the face and hands all the way down to the feet. Indeed, luxury footwear designer Enrico Cuini collaborated with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Taryn Rose to create a line of premium men’s and women’s shoes that promise superior fit and comfort, thanks to the development of their ALIA, or Active Lift in Alignment, support technology.

The system uses computer vision and intelligence for personalized tailoring. The shoes “disperse pressure over a larger surface area of ​​the foot to dynamically provide pressure relief, stability and energy return, making even the tallest, sexiest shoes incredibly comfortable,” according to their announcement.

For the visitors who managed to make it to CES this year—which, at some 112,000 or so in the final tally, make up a little more than half of the usual crowd—they were rewarded with gonzo spectacles over an array of eye-catching tech. Most obvious to the casual observer were futuristic, bendable TV screens and automotive innovations for self-driving cars, electric vehicles, infotainment systems and more. If that didn’t attract attention, the transportation options certainly did. After all, how often does someone shoot through the painted underground tunnels under the Las Vegas Convention Center in a free-rider Tesla?

But there was more going on beneath the surface of the show, and when it comes to fashion and beauty, it’s clear that innovation will continue to light the way this year and beyond.

The way to the future?  No, it's an underground tunnel, as seen in a self-driving Tesla at CES 2023.

The way to the future? No, it’s an underground tunnel, as seen in a self-driving Tesla at CES 2023.

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