16 Oct 2018
Future X: A Smart Store by SK-II
Together with P&G, we set to disrupt the conventions of the beauty industry by creating a pop-up smart store in Shibuya—one of Tokyo’s trendiest neighborhoods. We were on a mission to elevate the skin-care experience and deliver a curated journey using the powers of emerging technology.
Skin is unique, but skincare retail is one size fits all, so we started with one question: How can we use emerging technologies to create a store that truly adjusts to individuals? Using facial recognition, computer vision, machine learning and sensor technology, we created a revolutionary and highly personalized destination for a new and tech-savvy generation of shoppers.
Visitors could create a custom art piece based on real-time facial expression; use a proprietary skin scan that analyzed both visible and invisible issues—without anything touching their skin; and experience custom skincare advice and product recommendations, unlocked using crowd facial recognition technology.
But we didn’t want to just throw technology at the problem. We wanted that technology to fade away so our shoppers could focus on their skin story. Every interaction within the space surprised and delighted our guests without them always knowing the complex tech powering it all.
Smart stores are redefining retail, and SK-II Future X pushes the boundaries even within this new high-tech landscape. Through its first store launch in Tokyo, we aimed to combine a symbiotic mix of arts, technology and beauty to empower shoppers in unexpected ways.
Visitors began their journey by approaching Art of You, a camera-driven experience that, in real time, read their facial expressions and head motion to create a dramatic digital art piece with dynamic sound that responded to their every move.
Next, visitors received a face scan analyzing their skin. Existing retail scans require direct skin contact and a beauty counselor to facilitate. But SK-II’s newly-launched proprietary skin diagnostic booth analyzed from 45cm away using audio prompts—no staff member required.
From that moment on, visitors received personalized content without having to touch or re-introduce themselves. They became recognized guests, empowered to purely focus on their skin story and curated products.
Beyond the personalized content, the Smart Store also announced an upcoming beta product—a Smart Bottle with embedded sensors to track daily product usage that employs a digital advisor to guide the product experience.
Using 39 hidden cameras, 48 computers, 3.2km of cabling, all discreetly placed, the Future X Smart Store broke boundaries for retail. Maybe Wired Japan said it best: SK-II's Smart Store will be a ‘platform’ that redesigns the relationship between human and skin care.