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Augmented reality cosmetic device

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi Dec 13, 2021
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A device that uses augmented reality to achieve the effects of cosmetics and plastic surgery. The device will be safer than traditional cosmetics. It will also offer a degree of flexibility that traditional cosmetics don't.
Through history, we have done numerous things to improve our appearances and beautify ourselves. For instance, the women of the Mursi, Suri, and Karo tribes of Ethiopia place large round plates in their lips when they attain marriageable age. Ancient Egyptians used body sugaring to rid their bodies of hair and ancient Chinese women used pearl powder to beautify their faces.
In the modern day, humanity’s appetite for cosmetics hasn’t reduced. The size of the cosmetics industry (it was worth 507.8 billion US dollars in 2018) points to how much demand people have for these products and the business opportunities it provides. Another great example is cosmetic (surgical and nonsurgical) surgery, which had revenues in excess of 9 billion USD in 2020.
Why an Augmented Reality Cosmetic Device?
The use of cosmetics, both products and surgery, is about influencing how others perceive us. Augmented reality is perfectly poised to help with this. And it offers a lot of flexibility that other types of cosmetics don’t offer.
Imagine a scenario where you want to dye your hair blond today. But then, you are already tired of the color after a week and want to switch its color to brown. However, with an augmented reality cosmetic device, you could change your hair color as many times as you want, whether monthly, weekly, or even twice daily.
Apart from this, constant use of makeup can result in complications, as could undergoing cosmetic surgery. With an augmented reality cosmetics device, these two problems will become avoidable.
How will it Work?
The device should be battery powered and small enough to be worn on the body without any hindrance. It can take the shape of band, like a smartwatch but thinner and lighter so it can be worn comfortably on the body. Based on an algorithmic mapping of the body, it should be able to emit a projection to match the intention of the user, like blond hair, tanned skin, or afro hairstyle.
There should be different devices with each developed to address the cosmetic needs of different parts of the body:
  • one band, worn around the neck, can serve the neck and above
  • another band, worn around the waist, can serve the upper body and legs
  • Finally, a pair of wrist bands can serve the hands
Why Should Such a Device be Made?
There are different merits to this idea.
  1. It is a good and feasible alternative to cosmetic surgery. While it is nowhere near as real as cosmetic surgery, if used correctly, it will achieve the same effect and create the same perceptions we are after.
  2. Also, since it is a technological innovation, it will be more affordable than cosmetic surgery, thereby giving more people a flexible and impermanent way of influencing their appearances.
What do you think of such a device. Would you use one or would you rather go the traditional route of applying makeup and undergoing cosmetic surgery? Also, how can this idea be improved upon?
Creative contributions

Change the stigma around cosmetic procedures

Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie Dec 19, 2021
While this is an interesting idea, I am not sure how many people will be supportive of it. If it is a form of projection, some might argue it is even more pretentious than conventional makeup. I think this might work for minor cosmetic procedures, such as a virtual tattoo or accessories. I think what is more important is to change the stigma around cosmetic procedures and makeup. Many people who apply makeup or go for plastic surgery often do so to fit into a certain(often popularized) beauty standard. For example Asians, especially Asian American women who are exposed to American’s culture, are more likely to consider cosmetic surgery due to self-objectification since the culture around them posits certain features (Eurocentric) as ideal. Additionally, by internalizing such beauty standards, the inability to conform to such standards could lead to lower self-esteem.
Society as a whole should recognize different beauty standards and accept diversity and the differences in people. By using technology to change the way cosmetic procedures are done, it does not tackle the underlying root cause of societal expectations.
That being said, I think an augmented reality cosmetic device is definitely less invasive and a good step forward. Hopefully, instead of putting filters on our faces, we can be convinced to love our real one instead!

[1]Ko, Stacy Y., and Meifen Wei. “A Culturally Modified Application of Objectification Theory to Asian and Asian-American Women.” The Counseling Psychologist 48, no. 7 (2020): 1048–1075. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000020938872.

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi3 years ago
Hi Darryl Koh Yuan Jie, thanks for your comment. I agree with your assessment and your proposed solution, I do not think it's feasible. In my experience, behavioral changes are not easy to accomplish. Regardless, I don't see why both can't be done, since your solution would be better in the long term anyway.
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Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie3 years ago
Oguntola Tobi Yeap I think both can definitely be done, perhaps this augmented reality device can be programmed in such a way where the makeup enhances the user's features without distorting them to the extent of plastic surgery? Food for thought!
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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
Check this out - face projector used to mess with facial recognition systems:

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi3 years ago
Darko Savic This is nice. And I think it lends credence to this idea. However, if the device can be smaller and almost imperceptible, that would be best.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw3 years ago
Darko Savic I wonder if something like this could be used to mess with photos? If it could be lucrative to sell to celebrities who don't want their picture taken. Anti-paparazzi clothing already exists but is currently only somewhat effective with flash photography.
I've been working on an idea for an alternative to the existing clothing, but I've not considered this.
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