- Neutrogena, the skincare brand owned by Johnson & Johnson, this week will debut a mobile app at the Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES) in Las Vegas to help consumers evaluate their skin condition. The Neutrogena Skin360 app works with scanner hardware that attaches to a smartphone, according to a press release by the company.
- The SkinScanner hardware attachment developed by FitSkin aims to give users an in-depth look at their skin condition, customized advice on skincare and a way to track and assess skin's progress over time. The scanner tool fits over a smartphone and uses 12 high-powered lights, a 30x magnification lens and sensors to capture the size and appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles. It also measures skin moisture levels, per the release.
- Sebastien Guillon, global president of beauty at Johnson & Johnson Consumer, said the technology helps to provide more personalized information and advice about one's skin. The tool will be available for order from Neutrogena.com later this year for $49.99.
Neutrogena, whose positioning has long been around harnessing medical science, is aiming to amp up its scientific approach to skincare by marketing mobile hardware that claims to provide skincare analysis on par with a visit to a dermatologist. As the company and its legal team is likely very aware, Neutrogena needs to be careful with those kinds of claims, especially if consumers file complaints with watchdogs like the Federal Trade Commission or Food and Drug Administration. It's not too much of a stretch to imagine a consumer issuing a complaint that the SkinScanner didn't diagnose a potentially fatal condition like a melanoma, so it's crucial that the company tread carefully when crafting the marketing language around this product and app.
Neutrogena is entering the fray of mobile apps that use a mix of scanning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to provide services for consumers, with the beauty industry more broadly gaining a boost from embracing digital innovation. In this case, the app will help people monitor their skin condition and provide customized advice. It's interesting that the skincare brand is getting into the business of selling specialized scanner hardware that attaches to phones, given that smartphone makers are gradually making their devices more self-contained and dependent on advanced cameras and contactless technologies like near-field communications (NFC) and Bluetooth to remove extra features like headphone jacks and home buttons, for example.
With tech giants like Apple adding more scanners to power its FaceID technology to unlock phones, it's not hard to imagine that more app developers will seek ways to harness the new hardware for features like wrinkle analysis and beauty recommendations, among other facial features like virtual makeup. Already, companies like Perfect Corp. and ModiFace use smartphone cameras for augmented reality (AR) mapping of people to provide makeup and beauty tips. AR capabilities are expected to be added to more apps as Apple and Google promote the technologies in their software development kits.