Technology may finally produce a game changer in the everyday fight against hair breakage with French cosmetics and beauty company L’Oreal's first connected smart hairbrush debuting at CES 2017 in Las Vegas this week.
Smart Brushing for $200?
The Kerastase Hair Coach, powered by French consumer electronics firm Withings and is poised to retail for under $200, uses Withings’ sensors as well as “signal analysis” algorithms from L’Oreal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator to properly evaluate hair health and measure the effects of regular hair care routines and practices.
It boasts of features such as a microphone for listening to the sound of brushing so it can identify patterns; an accelerometer and gyroscope for analyzing brushing patterns and counting brush strokes; and 3-axis load cells. This smart brush is also equipped with conductivity sensors that are meant to check if the user has split ends; how hard she is brushing her locks; and if hair is wet or dry.
This beauty tool isn’t called “smart” for nothing: it transmits information to a mobile app through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to help users track all the data. In addition, it offers hair tips and advice, as well as lets one consider humidity, temperature, wind and UV conditions, and similar factors in hair care.
“It will basically be your hair coach,” said Guive Balooch, L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator VP, in a Fortune interview.
The smart brush’s daily hair breakage score, for instance, measures overall hair quality, and then lends insight on hair type, brushing behavior, and a couple of apt recommendations for Kerastase products.
Techie Best Buys for Beauty
L’Oreal — the industry giant behind Maybelline, Garnier, and Kiehl’s — is thinking up ways to incorporate technology into its established beauty and consumer brands. One of its incubator’s first releases is My UV Patch, a stretchable skin sensor that monitors UV exposure and was launched at CES the previous year.
CES is also home to other beauty gadgets that seek to garner the tech-savvy’s attention.
Samsung’s S-Skin is a skin analysis tool for analyzing users’ skin and suggest micro-needle patches to address blemishes, wrinkles, and even whiten skin. iDerma from Apira Science is a face mask armed with LEDs and claims to reduce the effects of aging, while ModiFace Skin AI leverages augmented reality to analyze skin through a live camera view and recommend the right beauty products.
Many more products in health and beauty tech may already be in the pipeline, just like the Hair Coach has been in development over the past 18 months.
The features and capabilities may be further improved (this hairbrush has no charging port yet, uses disposable batteries, and is not fully waterproof), but it’s generally a great time to be alive for every beauty enthusiast who has the dollars to spend on gadgetry.
Meanwhile, Withings also launched new smart HD security camera Home Plus for keeping an eye on one’s home and receiving notifications for unusual movement or noise. Its Steel HR watch, too, is already available globally starting Jan. 4 and in stores this month.