HP Color Match turns Camera Phones into Virtual Beauty Consultant

July 13th, 2007

HP has developed a color-matching technology for mobile phones that will assist you in buying the products that require color coordination, such as cosmetics. The technology is aimed at helping women find the right shade of make up to suit their skin tone. 

HP Labs, the company’s central research arm, has developed a technology that uses sophisticated imaging algorithms and mobile networking to match colors that complement one another, including makeup specific to skin coloring.

Retailers, consumer goods and other companies that require a high level of color or image coordination could implement the technology to offer services that help their customers select the right products for their needs.

It combines color science, imaging science and mobile networking technology to match colors that perfectly complement each other. It then provides product advice over your mobile phone.

Nina Bhatti, principal scientist, Digital Imaging and Printing lab, HP Labs said,

HP’s color matching technology provides retailers and consumer goods companies with a new, fun way to interact with customers and promote their products. For those who shop for cosmetics, this technology gives them a virtual beauty consultant in the palm of their hands.

The color matching technology, which is currently in prototype, builds on HP’s expertise in imaging, color science, mobility and networking is not out as yet. This new technology was developed by HP Labs over the past two years. However, it has been developed mainly as a consumer application. Currently, HP is looking for partners to make this technology commercially available to consumers.

How it works?

In order to use Color Match, all you have to have is a mobile phone with a camera. A shopper photographs herself using a mobile phone camera and then sends the photo as an MMS (multimedia message) to an advisory service. That system locates the person’s face within the image and color corrects the image for camera and lighting discrepancies.

Skin pixels are extracted from the color corrected image of the person’s face, and then compared to an existing database of previously captured and analyzed images of skin tones of real people. In a matter of seconds, people using the service receive a text message response with a recommendation on the shades of makeup that are best suited to their complexion.

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