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Educating Hairdressers Through Virtual Reality

December 15th 2016

What if hairdressers could train each other even more easilyl, by using holograms? This is what’s promised by Matrix, which is getting ready to implement its US education program through virtual reality (VR). FAB investigates…

Dive Into An Ultra-realistic Virtual World

Immersion, 3D and holograms are the digital DNA of augmented reality, the technology allowing you to immerse yourself in an artificial world that’s been created digitally. This world can be so well simulated that the process can artificially reproduce a sensory experience that can involve seeing, touching, hearing and even smelling to a certain extent. It is already being used by a wide range of services, service-providers and large institutions, from the US Navy, which uses a parachuting simulation helmet for the PS4 video game console, to the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, which uses this technology to test-drive its most luxurious models.

Réalité Virtuelle Martix
Photo credits: Matrix

From Tutorial To Virtual

In the age of 2.0 (as proven by the exponential number of beauty tutorial videos littering YouTube and Instagram) the beauty sector, led by L’Oréal, has taken another step through the digital boundaries. Indeed, after Style My Hair, the app that lets you try out a new haircut, color or style, Makeup Genius, an augmented-reality make-up simulator, and My UV Patch, a connected patch that can detect UV rays, the worldwide cosmetics leader is now setting up a virtual reality training program with Matrix. This program will help those learning to be stylists – 2 millions counting in 2015, to know new hairstyling and haircare techniques. Starting in January 2017, 25 of the 30 Matrix academies all over the United States will try out these classes using virtual reality.

Photo credits: Matrix

How It Works

L’Oréal and its professional haircare brand Matrix teamed up with the company 8i to produce a virtual experience that uses tools which are at the cutting edge of technology. By putting on its VR helmet, users can experience being a hairdresser and training, working on a client to try out various haircuts and techniques. With 360º movement and photo-realistic 3D vision, the user can move around freely and examine the scene from any angle to facilitate and optimize learning. Faced with the constant challenge of 3D reconstruction of the details of the human body, like the eyes, fingers and movements, in addition to hair, especially frizzy hair, 8i was able to successfully overcome this additional challenge.

Photo credits: Matrix

With this new learning tool, Matrix seems to be a pioneer in the industry. Can the professional haircare brand open the way toward a new form of education and training?