Shiseido now has a cosmetics-free way to change your appearance.
Telecommuting can be an extremely efficient workstyle for employees who handle most of their assignments independently. Time savings come from not only being able to skip the commute to and from the office, but because telecommuters can basically roll out of bed and get right to work, rather than going through the lengthy grooming and wardrobe processes involved in looking business-presentable.
But even people who spend most of their days telecommuting occasionally need to have a video conference with their boss or coworkers, and this can present a special problem for female telecommuters in Japan. Not only are many women in the fashion-conscious country uncomfortable being seen without makeup by professional and social acquaintances, many companies require, either through official policies or unspoken rules, that female employees put on at least some cosmetics before coming to the office.
That puts female telecommuters in the position of choosing between going through the trouble of putting on their makeup for a video conference (which may only last a few minutes) or committing a business faux pas. Shiseido, though, has a third option in the works.
Called TeleBeauty, the video chat project is a joint effort between the Japanese cosmetics giant and Microsoft Japan. After aligning her face in the center of the screen, the user can then select one of four styles of makeup: natural, trend, cool, feminine, which apply varying degrees of simulated cosmetics to her face’s appearance on the other chat participants’ screens.
The designers are still putting the final touches on TeleBeauty, but a prototype, compatible with Skype for Business, is expected to be ready in time for Microsoft’s Work Improvement Week, which begins on October 17. Another feature rumored to be in the final version is the ability to blur the background behind the user’s face, allowing users to maintain some extra privacy by hiding views of their home from clients and colleagues. In the meantime, male telecommuters will have to keep their fingers crossed that the program takes off and gets an eventual upgrade that will digitally remove their stubble if they haven’t shaved.