- Johnson & Johnson is giving consumers in China a way to virtually test colored contact lenses with augmented reality (AR). The company is working with AR technology company Perfect Corp. to offer the AR try-ons in its Acuvue mini program in messaging app WeChat and social shopping app Taobao, according to an announcement.
- The try-on uses Perfect's facial recognition technology to detect the position of a mobile user's eyes and overlay a digital image of colored contact lenses. The contact lens try-on is part of an AR makeup demonstration that includes matching cosmetics styles provided by Johnson & Johnson.
- Shoppers also can virtually test eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, blush and other products for a full makeover.
Johnson & Johnson is pioneering the use of AR technology to provide virtual try-ons of colored contacts to mobile consumers in China. The virtual sampling can help shoppers visualize how they'll look with different eye colors as part of a full makeover that includes other cosmetics.
Virtual demonstrations of products are considered one of the best applications for AR technology, and the coronavirus pandemic has supported that growth as brands and retailers seek to connect with shoppers who may be unwilling to visit stores. Johnson & Johnson's sales of contact lenses and other vision products last year rose 2.7% to $3.39 billion, with $2.09 billion of that coming from international markets, per its annual report.
By including the virtual try-on in the mini programs for Acuvue on WeChat and Taobao, Johnson & Johnson can reach a broad audience of people who use the platforms for a variety of mobile-based services. More than 400 million people use mini programs on WeChat, parent company Tencent reports, while Taobao is the most popular social commerce platform in China, per Alibaba. The number of merchants that use its Taobao Live platform to livestream video shopping content surged 88% in Q1 from a year earlier, according to Alibaba.
Johnson & Johnson's virtual try-ons for Acuvue comes two months after Perfect released software tools to help brands showcase products on WeChat. Perfect in May introduced a software development kit (SDK) for mini programs, along with several other technologies aimed at makers of cosmetics. Johnson & Johnson's adoption of Perfect's AR tech shows that virtual try-ons aren't limited to cosmetics and hair color brands.