There was a time when the web is full of text. Fast forward, with the growing internet and smartphones in our hands, we occupy the web with plenty of images and videos.
Then there was a time when those images and videos were edited locally. With editing tools like Adobe Photoshop for example, we could touchup our photos to create a little facelift, or do some alternations that make us the way we want to look.
Varied with taste, mood and situation, we want those edited images and videos to represent us.
Technologies have come a long way, before algorithms are applied to help us create AI-generated makeup.
With the many chat apps out in the market that leverage this idea, virtual facelift has become a standard on almost every post.
Using these apps, users can generate a variety of alterations, all in real-time. From virtual facelifts, facial reconstruction, and other digital appearance changes.
In short, in many ways, edited images and videos are becoming an entire economy. The demand is high, and so is the supply. And as more are jumping into the bandwagon, many companies future-proof their products with this trend.
Using AI, users can cover those baggy eyes, or cover up those blemishes. They can smooth those wrinkles around they eyes, and even make their skin lighter or darker, all in real-time.
Not everyone love how they look at every given time. This is why apps that offer these abilities are growing in demand. People aren't anymore required to turn on their computers to fire up Photoshop, for example. They can just snap a selfie, edit the image right from their phones, and voilà, a touched up selfie that looks a lot more appealing.
But not everyone is into it.
Some apps do more than others, as many people called it the BeautyGate. In this scenario, the AI algorithms automatically edits people's appearance to remove blemishes, shadows, and smooth the skin’s appearance with selfies, in a way that it seems too unrealistic.
Still nonetheless, virtual facelift has become a trend of this wild economy.
This technology can also be applied to videos too. As facial recognition and facial mapping technology exist, alterations to videos in real time is also possible using augmented reality.
For example, users can create their own profile, to create an altered version of themselves. Apple's Animoji for example. Then there are apps which put filters above videos to enlarge the eyes, or to alter other parts of the body/face.
The idea is to make things more fun, and also more engaging.
And when celebrities jump into the bandwagon with their own opinion, demand can go up or even go down. Take Kylie Jenner for example.
When the member of the Kardashian family tweeted that she doesn't use Snapchat, she quickly sent the app to trade low in the stock market, and at the same time, boosted Instagram.
This is how beauty products companies future-proof their companies and solidify their foundation in the digital economies.
And here's the thing: it's not limited to gender as both female and male can use it.
While women tend to erase those wrinkles and blemishes, men may prefer different jawlines for example. They may also prefer six-pack abs or adding beards. Not just women, as men can also touch up their appearances to appear in a different way.
As things go way beyond "deepfakes", we’re seeing an entire economic boom around real-time alterations. And here customization is the key. As previously mentioned, the "BeautyGate" happened because there is no universal definition of beauty.
What one person sees as pretty, to another person is ugly. What this means, to keep the trend running, the element of user customization should always be present.