But as appealing as it sounds for white collar employees to be able to video conference from their bedrooms and breakfast nooks, it has also introduced a form of modern angst called the “appearance barrier.”That’s when employees are so distracted by their appearance on screen that they have a hard time paying attention to the official business at hand.
Now the Japanese cosmetic giant Shiseido has created an augmented reality app meant to reduce this pain point for women adjusting to telework culture, by helping them look polished and made-up on a teleconference screen. “Telebeauty,” co-created with Microsoft Japan and Skype For Business, applies virtual make-up to its user’s video image.
Women use the app by selecting one of four palettes: natural, trend, cool, or pretty, before entering the teleconference call. The app then scans the user’s face and adjusts her skin tone, superimposing a kind of digital beauty balm that blurs pores, dark spots, and pimples. It also adds blush, lipstick, and eye makeup.
Telebeauty can distinguish between a user’s face and the background, so the makeup reportedly “stays on” even as the user talks and moves around. That’s good, because no one wants to leave lipstick marks hovering in midair.