Japanese online fashion retailer Zozo Inc has launched skin tone measuring glasses for ordering cosmetics online, making its latest fashion tech offering as it expands beyond apparel.
"Zozoglass", a pair of spectacles covered with colour swatches and markers, detects skin tone when scanned with a smartphone for tailored cosmetics recommendations on Zozotown, Japan's biggest online fashion site.
"Traditionally in Japan you'd go to a large department store, you go to the counter and then you actually try stuff on," Zozo's chief operating officer Masahiro Ito said in an interview.
"We're trying to replicate that through technology and give the consumer confidence to buy online," he said.
"Zozoglass", which is available for preorder on Friday before shipping from March, will be limited to foundation initially before being expanded to cover other product lines.
Augmented reality functionality in the online retailer's app will allow consumers to see how the make-up will look.
Fashon tech is being eyed by online retailers, which have been boosted by shopping at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way to help consumers overcome some reservations about buying remotely.
"I have a feeling that e-commerce has been introduced to a whole swathe of new people that have not even thought of buying clothes online before," said Ito.
Zozo, part of SoftBank's internet business Z Holdings Corp, has shipped 1.4 million units of its "Zozomat", which is used to measure feet for sizing recommendations.
The company plans to launch a successor to the body-measuring "Zozosuit" this year which it says has fixed the flaws of earlier iterations. According to a Reuters report from November, the original polka-dot bodysuit, which when scanned with a smartphone allowed users to upload their measurements and order custom-made clothes, received massive interest from the fashion industry but failed to drive sales amid complaints of poor sizing.
Zozo’s engineers had reworked their algorithms and increased the number of measuring markers to 20,000 from 400 previously for the “Zozosuit 2”, the report added. The new design could be produced at low-cost via an easily scalable printing process, Ito said in the report.
Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore for Reuters