SK-II brings mixed-reality to Tokyo retail space with ‘smart lab’

Japanese beauty behemoth SK-II has become the latest brand to bring digital technology into the retail space by building an augmented reality skin analyser in-store.

Dubbed the ‘Future X Smart Store’, the cosmetics ‘lab’ uses a photo booth that takes a scan of a customers face and can allegedly deduce the patron’s skin type without aid of a human assistant.

Although having claimed the technology allows the customer to then get “better-personalised skincare” advice, the brand has noted the store only sells one SK-II product –its facial treatment essence. However, a spokeswoman for the lab’s designer, experiential agency Huge, said recommendations for other products would be given.

In addition to the skin test, the branch also features a an augmented reality wall, named ‘The Art of You’, which allows customers create their own artistic images through a camera that analyses their facial expression.

“Ourhidden technology encourages consumers to have a more independent brand experience and offers them data-driven recommendations that are specifically for their skin’s needs,” said Emily Wengert, group vice president of user experience at Huge.

“We’re actively developing the future of retail storytelling and inviting the retail industry to work alongside technology instead of against it.”


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