It didn’t take long after the arrival of virtual reality for a new and potentially more impactful tech to emerge: augmented reality. If you haven’t been keeping track, the difference between these two is small but meaningful. Whereas virtual reality transforms everything you’re looking at (through a headset) into a whole new world, augmented reality shows you your true environment, but changes or enhances it with virtual elements. For instance, you can go into your mobile app store right now and . an AR program that allows you to hold your phone up, look through it at your living room couch, and see a tiger sitting there.
Now, if VR and AR seem as if they exist only for gaming purposes, it’s because that’s the picture the headlines tend to paint. But they’ve actually branched out fairly rapidly. It didn’t take long after traditional video games started coming out in VR for fringe games, such as those that comprise the vast online casino gaming business, to get in on the action. There’s always new information about mobile and online casinos as they constantly adapt to user needs and preferences, and lately much of the news has been about even these simple games’ transition into mixed reality.
After expanding from traditional to fringe gaming, VR and AR also took on other areas altogether. And now, it’s getting hard to count the ways in which these technologies can be applied to everyday entertainment and tasks. There are heavy-duty VR apps for healthcare. There are augmented reality programs that assist science teachers. There are apps geared toward home design, personal wellness and meditation, storytelling, and more. And now, as the expansion of VR and AR continues in seemingly limitless fashion, it seems that we can count hairstyling as another area that will be affected.
The biggest piece of news in this area came from L’Oreal. In fact it was all the way back in 2016 that we learned that the company had launched an augmented reality app designed to allow users to virtually sample hairstyles and colors before visiting a salon. By way of facial recognition and AR tech, the app actually recommends different looks based on a user’s facial shape and dimensions, and then provides visual samples that give you a much better idea of how you might look with a given style or color. Evidently, the app – “Style My Hair” – was downloaded about 500,000 times in its first few weeks of existence.
On a similar note, we learned last year that Perfect365 and Hot Tools had partnered to form a similar app that would allow users to virtually try out six different hairstyles before purchasing styling tools. It’s a little bit more geared toward product sales, but still a fun concept to . around with if you want the chance to visualize yourself with entirely different hairstyles with ease.
Through these examples, as well as the general tendency of augmented reality to expand and improve rapidly in new areas, you can start to see how it has the potential to drastically change hairstyling and personal beauty efforts as a whole. This technology’s ability to assist us with visualization, sampling, and creativity opens up new doors for us all, and makes it easier to try new things – even if just for a virtual moment.
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