It can be tempting to turn off your webcam while on a video call, especially on days when you seem messy. For Teams users, Microsoft is introducing a new AI-powered beautification feature designed to “make people’s lives a little bit easier”. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced a new set of “virtual makeup” filters — similar to appearance-altering effects seen on social media platforms, such as TikTok’s Bold Glamor feature — are coming to Microsoft Teams, courtesy of cosmetics giant Maybelline.
Maybelline Beauty will give Teams 12 users a unique look at launch, with options to choose from various blur effects and digital makeup color options. Each look will provide a breakdown of the actual Maybelline products and shades that are replicated by the filter so users can recreate the makeup on their real faces. Companies often use these “try on” virtual experiences to promote their real-world products, but the company’s workplace software is an unusual place to see Maybelline encourage users to step out of their wallets and “explore different makeup looks.”
The artificial intelligence technology that powers the virtual makeup filters is provided by Modiface, an augmented reality company focused on the beauty industry. Modiface technology is one of the most popular offerings for virtual makeup try-on experiences and has been used by many cosmetics companies such as Sephora and Estee Lauder. Maybellines’ parent company L’Oreal jumped on that popularity again in 2018, acquiring Modiface for an undisclosed amount.
Filters have also been developed in conjunction with the Geena Davis Institute – a non-profit public data organization focused on improving inclusion and diversity within the media – to ensure that virtual makeup will be appropriate for “a broad and diverse population”.
Trisha Ayagari, Global Brand President of Maybelline New York, said: Maybelline Press Release. “That’s why we partnered with Microsoft Teams to develop virtual makeup. Now, even on the busiest days, you can get your makeup done with just one click. »
Enterprise users can find new virtual makeup demos under the Video Effects tab in Microsoft Teams
The new feature is rolling out to global Microsoft Teams Enterprise customers starting today and can be located under the Video Effects tab of Teams Meeting Settings. We’ve asked Microsoft if the filters will also be available to Microsoft Teams free tier users and will update this story if we receive a response.
It’s a little weird to think that beauty filters have a place in more professional communication apps outside of the realm of social media. There’s plenty to certify that filters designed to enhance or otherwise manipulate your appearance can be harmful to mental health because of the unrealistic expectations they place on our body image. And while these AR/AI filter effects were easy to recognize because they distorted when the user’s face was obstructed, recent developments like TikTok’s infamous “Bold Glamour” effect are harder to spot.
Potential danger to our self-esteem People have not been deterred from the desire to use these beauty filters in work-related applications. Other video conferencing platforms like Zoom already include limited beauty effects, like eyebrow and lipstick filters. Maybelline Beauty in Teams offers more options and customizations, which can be more tempting to fiddle with, especially if they look natural enough to avoid standing out among your co-workers for all the wrong reasons.
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