Via a Medium blog post, it looks like one of the largest beauty companies in the world is taking their next major step into the VR industry. Back in May, we reported on L’Oreal partnering with 8i for volumetric capture, which brings real life people into virtual settings as holograms. We’ve covered 8i’s work before, with them most recently developing videos for astronauts and now we get a peek at their work for the cosmetics giant.
L’Oreal is utilizing 8i’s technology to increase efficiency when it comes to training their beauty professionals. Just last year, the company trained over 2 million hairdressers and, without some sort of digital training in place, that was likely quite costly time-wise and financially. The program is called the Matrix Academy, partnered with their Matrix hair brand, and is putting professionals to work in virtual salons.
When it comes to the beauty industry, 8i is theoretically a much better choice when trying different beauty techniques. Digital avatars can give a decent idea of what things look like, but 8i’s holograms bring us a unique degree of realism that’s needed to accurately depict how different techniques look on different people. When speaking with FastCompany, 8i’s founder Linc Gasking noted that hair specifically was a unique challenge that brought 8i and L’Oreal together. Even the most impressive digital hair can’t provide accurate models for the work required in real life, especially considering the various types of hair professionals will encounter.
The digital backgrounds 8i’s simulations illicit thoughts of an uncanny valley, but for training purposes that imagery would be irrelevant because the focus is on the models and hairdressers. Within the training video, users can circle around models and the professionals as they work. They can even step into a first-person view to get a better look. Considering the importance of viewing from different angles, Gasking recommends a device that offers positional tracking.
The Matrix Academy application will be free of charge once available.