Richard Kavanagh’s Smart Mirror Adopted by L’Oreal
The interactive invention of top New Zealand hairstylist, Sydney-based Richard Kavanagh is set to transform salon visits here and overseas. Kavanagh’s smart mirror allows customers to shop for their style on screen and provides salons with a valuable business tool.
The world first device, known as Piiq, has been dubbed “unbelievable” and “really cool” by reality TV star and hair industry training guru Tabatha Coffey.
Global beauty giant L’Oreal is poised to roll it out to 1000 of its affiliate salons in Australia. Then US and European markets are targets of the business co-founded by Kavanagh and a former Telstra IT executive, Richard Matthewman. A separate distribution deal into five Asian countries is being negotiated.
“I’m a hairdresser, I don’t know anything about electronics, but I built the first prototype myself,” Kavanagh said.
After two years of development, including working with tech experts in Korea and China, Piiq is now patented in the United States.
The consultation system connects a tablet used by the client and stylist to the large smart mirror and LCD screen in front of them.
The mirror’s in-built camera and flattering integrated beauty lighting gives a 360-degree capture of the client’s finished look. Selfies can be taken and shared on social media, automatically tagging the salon.
Before that, clients select a face shape, see recommended celebrity style matches, and can shop for suitable products. The information is stored for easy visual recall on return visits, making recreating looks easier.
Kavanagh regularly works on shoots for magazines and backstage at the big fashion weeks. The four-time Australasian session stylist of the year also returns annually for New Zealand Fashion Week, this year again helming the hair for designers including Huffer, Zambesi and Stolen Girlfriends Club.
Original article by The New Zealand Herald, October 19, 2018.