Sony has developed a new device, and it's not a phone or a wearable or a television or anything that would be considered conventional. It's a skin-measuring device called BeautyExplorer.
Sony apparently has a team in Japan that developed what it described as a "quirky Skin View Camera system that aims to help you look the part". BeautyExplorer is just one component. There's also dedicated tablet with an analysis app called Skin Analyser and a cloud server that stores and processes data collected with the BeautyExplorer.
BeautyExplorer weighs 115g, fits in the palm of your hand, and features a a built-in battery and a 1.3MP CMOS Active Pixel Sensor. The sensor detects variations in light and uses an analysis algorithm to apply image-processing technology, while the Skin Analyser app essentially displays all the skin data gathered in an easy-to-read way.
Sony's skin analysis technology looks at the surface of your skin and below it to read what's not visible. It analyses skin texture, pores, moisture, grease, pigmentation, the amount of melanin present, and so forth. The idea is that you can't effectively treat your problematic skin until you're 100 per cent sure what's going on with it.
"It can tell you all you need to know about any unwanted blemishes, pores, brightness or colouring that has had the misfortune of gracing your face. Alas, we can’t develop an app that will remove them just yet (we’re not that good), but surely half of the battle is knowing that they’re there," Sony explained in a blog post.
Sony will release BeautyExplorer in March. It's aimed at professional customers like beauty salons and manufacturers of cosmetics. Pricing is unclear but press materials say it'll cost up to £110 a month (converted from yen) to lease the equipment and have access to the cloud system.