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(Pocket-lint) - During CES 2020, we stumbled upon an interesting prototype from L'Oréal that creates a lipstick colour you first try out in augmented reality using an app. The Perso was in the very early stages of development then, but we could see its potential - not only do you get to make your own lipstick at home, you can see what it will look like beforehand.

Approximately 12 months later, we caught up with the concept again - except this time it is only a few months away from getting into the hands of real customers.

Now sporting Yves Saint Laurent branding and called YSL Rouge Sur Mesure powered by Perso, the device will first be available in beta form in spring 2021 and then released more universally from September.

We recently spoke to L'Oréal's global vice president of its Technology Incubator, Guive Balooch, about Perso, how it's come on since we saw it last, and other innovations it has planned for the beauty sector as part of the Pocket-lint Podcast.

"Perso is something unique because it's a marriage of many technologies together that really try to solve a purpose. And the purpose is, how do you create the environment for people to see a trend and immediately make the product at home, rather than having to go buy a product specifically for every trend?" he told us.

"To do that, we have this connected device and it does lipstick, skincare, and other categories. For the lipstick, you can virtually try it on using AR and just have it right there by dispensing on the device.

"We have a lot of hope and ambition for it, because we spent a long time trying to make it as user centric as possible. We're going to launch that as a first beta test in the spring of 2021, so it will be soon in the hands of users."

L'OréalL'Oréal Perso AI makeup system enters beta in spring, we talk to head of Tech Incubator photo 2

An redesigned version of the device was unveiled during the all-digital CES 2021 in January. It will be priced at $299 on its first, limited run and it'll work with dedicated colour cartridge sets. Cartridges can be inserted, with red, nude, orange or pink variants available. It will then mix and dispense the exact shade you request via a connected app.

The L'Oréal Technology Incubator won't stop there. Also shown during the virtual CES was the Water Saver, an attachment for hair salons or a bathroom tap that does exactly what it says on the tin.

L'OréalL'Oréal Perso AI makeup system enters beta in spring, we talk to head of Tech Incubator photo 3

"This is a collaboration we have with a company in Switzerland called the Gjosa," Balooch explained.

"They have this some water technology that allows you to reduce the size of a water droplet by 10 times - make it 10 times smaller. By doing that you don't compromise how the water flows through the hair, the pressure and how it feels but you use 80 per cent less water.

"So we partnered with them and we built this technology called the L'Oréal Water Saver. It's a personalised system that allows you to mix different treatments that go through this water technology and come out of the handle with the savings.

"If we get this into a few thousand salons, we can save one billion gallons of water per year. The potential is really high."

The Technology Incubator is working on a whole lot of other products too, some of which you can hear about in our full podcast interview right here.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 4 February 2021.