15 Minutes With: Sowmya Gottipati on AI & AR in the Beauty Industry

Tags: , ,

In this episode, Tracey Welson-Rossman sits down with Sowmya Gottipati, Vice President of Estee Lauder, Global Brand Technology. Sowmya comes to retail with a background in media – but while the two industries are vastly different, to Gottipati, the questions are the same: how do you tell a story in a compelling way? How do you connect with your consumers? And how do you wield technology to enhance that experience?

Since retail is an industry highly impacted by COVID-19, Tracey and Sowmya talk about some of the innovations at Estee Lauder that were accelerated by the pandemic: most notably, Virtual Try-On. In an effort to emulate the experience of trying on beauty products in-store, the iconic beauty brand leveraged AI and AR to allow customers to try on lipstick and foundation virtually, with a great deal of success.

Tracey and Becca had to try out the tech, of course. For science.


So back to the interview: where do AI and AR – respectively – come into play throughout the development process? How do you train the AI models to account for unique facial structures, smiles, textures, and motions? And what other technologies are coming down the pike now since virtual is being accelerated? (Hint: the fragrance market is ripe for disruption.)

At the end of the day, Tracey and Sowmya agree on one basic point: don’t just push technology because you can – focus on consumer experience.

Watch the full interview below.

Is there anything you’d like us to discuss in this series? Email info@chariotsolutions.com, or leave a thought below.