The company announced today a hardware product called SkinScanner that attaches to the upper portion of a smartphone and, using a combo of sensors, is supposed to give users the kind of magnified image of their facial skin that you usually see in before-and-after pics in ads. The scanner wirelessly syncs up with a mobile app, called Skin360, which will show a person’s skin health over time and suggest they improve their skin.
The SkinScanner product was made in partnership with a New York-based company called Fitskin. It’s a tool that slides onto the top of your iPhone and uses 12 LED lights and a 30x magnification lens to capture an up-close image of your skin. It also has a moisture sensor, around the rim of the lens. You open the app, press the device right onto your face, and take a series of images. Glamour shots these are not: these are close-up readings of your skin’s moisture levels, wrinkles, and pore size.
Using machine learning, the app compares your skin to other users in your age range. It then assigns a score, up to 100, for each of these three categories. Below that, the app shows a blue “Improve” button, which leads you to a Neutrogena store. This is where that nudge happens; it might suggest, for example, that you use a Neutrogena sunscreen, or cleanser, or a product with retinol or hyaluronic acid.
A moisture sensor for your skin sounds like it could be an interesting tool, and it’s something that is already available to people, both at retail counters and online. Wrinkle-tracking and pore-judging, though, especially at a super-magnified level, seems like it could potentially lead to unhealthy behavior, as some dermatologists have pointed out about other skin-scanning gadgets.
Neutrogena has made an iPhone scanner that magnifies your skin issues [The Verge]