Reflexion: App concept takes beauty tech to the next level


  • Date 21 Feb 2019
  • Sectors Technology

Breakthrough innovation specialist Cambridge Consultants today announced Reflexion, a unique skin analysis concept. The world’s first mobile app to harness Bidirectional Scatter Distribution Function, a sophisticated measure of reflected light, Reflexion measures the ‘shininess’ of skin, enabling personalized recommendations of beauty products. 

Reflexion is a demonstration of an Artificial Intelligence-powered tablet app, designed to respond to the growing consumer desire for bespoke cosmetics and beauty products. Reflexion’s skin analysis system requires no additional hardware and provides much deeper insight than basic image analysis applications. It will help brands to make personalized product recommendations, moving beyond a transactional relationship to provide powerful new consumer experiences.

With a surge in ‘beauty tech’ products capturing the attention of both consumers and the beauty industry, we’re entering a new era of individualized cosmetics. Reflexion’s analysis system provides a ‘shininess measurement’ that highlights areas of the user’s face that are particularly glossy, unlocking information and insight about consumers that would conventionally require professional diagnostic technology.

Reflexion works by measuring the Bidirectional Scatter Distribution Function (BSDF) of a user’s face. More simply, light is reflected or scattered differently by shiny or matt surfaces. The Reflexion application takes multiple images while illuminating the face from different angles using the mobile device’s screen. Reflexion uses the image data and measures the reflected light from every pixel in every image, then uses cleverly applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to create a map of gloss, surface roughness and reflectivity.

Commenting on the announcement of Reflexion, Robin Ferraby, Consumer Commercial Manager, said, “Reflexion is a breakthrough in the beauty tech market, delivering rich insights on our dermatological make-up. Using the standard camera function on our phones or tablets, Reflexion takes existing hardware components and applies AI to help visualize the secrets of our skin. We’re excited to have developed an innovative beauty technology with mass-market appeal.”

Reflexion indicates degrees of shininess, identifying areas of the skin that might require bespoke treatment. This also means it could identify whether specific beauty and cosmetic products, such as foundation, have been evenly and accurately applied. Reflexion can also build 3D maps of the surfaces it analyzes. In the cosmetics and personal care world, this could pave the way for personal wrinkle measurement, for the first time enabling consumers to track the efficacy of a regime over an extended period.

“There are many beauty apps available to download but they lack the depth of insight that consumers require to assess their skin and provide accurate product recommendations. Reflexion makes unique use of existing tablet technology, beyond the simple image processing that most apps use, to deliver insights that go well beyond skin deep,” added Robin. 

This announcement builds on Cambridge Consultants’ continued work on skin diagnostics, which includes an analytical model for light’s interaction with the skin and Skintuition, a skin diagnostics system that uses multispectral imaging to enable users to analyze and observe their skin in greater detail. These tools provide valuable insights into skin health, condition and dermatological status.


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