Is there any better way to kick off the New Year than observing the newest trends and innovations unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)? Organized by The Consumer Technology Association, the annual trade show has established itself as one of the biggest tech events of the year. Brands, manufacturers and companies get the chance to demonstrate the latest products and technologies from IoT and AI to wearables and smart homes. CES is the place for anyone looking to make business happen and to be in the know about the hottest gadgets, devices and technologies of the year across the consumer electronics (CE) sector. One trend that will be making a big splash at CES 2024 is beauty tech.
‘All Together. All ON’ at CES 2024
This year, CES is taking place in Las Vegas from Jan. 9-12. Highlighted exhibitors for CES 2024 include big names such as Google, Hyundai, LG, Mercedes-Benz, Samsung and Sony. The theme for 2024 is ‘All Together. All ON’, and it is meant to underscore the ways technology and innovators around the world can unite to improve lives.
This theme comes on the heels of the Sept. 18 UN conference about the next phase of the Human Security for All (HS4A) campaign. The event, co-hosted by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, CTA and the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), witnessed CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro communicating the status of technology as a human necessity. Also at the event, the CTA announced that technology would become the eighth pillar of the HS4A campaign.
Of the announcement, Shapiro had to say, “Technology is making our world a better place to live for literally billions of people, and we are only just scratching the surface of what’s possible.” The addition of technology to the HS4A campaign served as the perfect segue into CES 2024, which Shapiro remarked would be a launch point to “showcase the innovations that transform our world – at CES 2024 and beyond.”
A Year for Bolstering Beauty Tech
In 2024, beauty tech is set to have a notable presence on both the big stage and the show floor. CES 2024 looks to be one for the books as it will be the first time a beauty company is represented among the keynote speakers at the tech trade show.
L’Oréal has long been a staple exhibitor at CES, showcasing innovations that have bridged the gap between the beauty and tech industries for nearly a decade. The company’s consumer technology prototypes exhibited at CES have included the AI-enabled customized skincare device Perso (CES 2020), the automatic hair-coloring device Colorsonic (CES 2022), the 3D eyebrow printer L’Oréal Brow Magic and the computerized makeup applicator HAPTA (CES 2023).
According to a press release from the CTA, Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal and keynote speaker, will be at CES 2024 highlighting “the role that sustainable, accessible and inclusive beauty tech plays in driving positive impact at an individual and collective level.” Beauty, makeup, and skincare are powerful tools of self-expression that can serve as a confidence and self-esteem booster for anyone who uses them. As evidenced by the UN’s HS4A campaign, technology is another powerful tool that can do good when designed with the right purpose in mind.
In its keynote, L’Oréal seeks to demonstrate how it is combining the possibilities of beauty and the capabilities of tech to improve people’s lives. Hieronimus cosigns this sentiment, stating in the CTA press release, “L’Oréal envisions a future where no one feels left out by beauty trends, because they will have the power to create their own trends – whenever, wherever – with products and tools inspired by their own stories, experiences and identity.”
The Future of Beauty Tech is Inclusive and Accessible
Accessibility and inclusivity are prominent themes at CES 2024 and L’Oréal. The beauty company has been at the forefront of melding tech with accessibility through its Technology Incubator in its research and development division.
The Incubator started in 2012. Since then, it has grown into a team of more than 30 “physicists, engineers, UX specialists, hardware designers and data scientists working cross-functionally to help L’Oréal evolve from the world’s foremost beauty company to a technology player that is empowering consumers through personalized products and experience.” This includes making beauty tech that is accessible and inclusive for disabled people.
L’Oréal unveiled the HAPTA makeup applicator at CES 2023. The computerized makeup applicator is designed for people with limited fine motor skills and hand-motion disorders. HAPTA utilizes motion stabilization to counteract unintended movement and keep the device level, assisting people “who may find it difficult to get a comfortable angle when applying lipstick or mascara.”
Many beauty tools and application methods are not designed for disabled people despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicating that 27 percent of adults in the U.S. have some type of disability. Around 12 percent of the population have disabilities affecting their mobility, so beauty tech such as HAPTA is incredibly useful and transformative.
Guive Balooch, L’Oréal Global Head of Research and Innovation’s Tech Incubator, called innovations such as HAPTA “assistive beauty” in a L’Oréal Groupe press release. He elaborates that this facet of beauty tech means “solving for consumers’ challenges and removing barriers to achieving desired results” they would not otherwise get without extensive training or makeup applicators not designed with disabled people in mind.
“[HAPTA] is pretty incredible in that regard,” Brian Comiskey, Director of Thematic Programs at CTA, remarked to Dealerscope. “Everyone deserves the confidence that makeup can provide, so I’m very excited to see what L’Oréal might have to say about the continuation of that story.”
According to GWI, “Beauty buyers are 18 percent more likely than the average American to have self-confidence issues as a result of longer-term medical conditions.” Consumers want more inclusive and accessible products as well. GWI notes that 37 percent of U.S. beauty buyers say disabled people deserve better representation in products and services.
Tech innovations from beauty giants like L’Oréal launched on a stage as influential as CES can lead by example in terms of what disability representation should look like in the beauty and tech industries.