Hyperspectral imaging comes to the beauty industry as IL MAKIAGE acquires tech start-up Voyage81

IL MAKIAGE, the fastest growing beauty company in the U.S., acquired Voyage81, a deep-tech AI-based computational imaging startup.  IL MAKIAGE acquired Voyage81 to integrate the company’s patented Hyperspectral Imaging Systems into its offering and continued commitment to innovating and revolutionising the beauty and wellness industries at-large. This acquisition also sets the stage for launches the company has planned. It’s the second tech acquisition made by the beauty brand within two years.

What Voyage81 does

Voyage81 is the first and only company in the world to develop patented software that brings hyperspectral imaging capabilities to smartphones. Voyage81’s software extracts over 30 channels of hyperspectral information from RGB images taken with existing smartphone cameras. In addition to its vision software, Voyage81 is currently developing in tandem with some of the largest global smartphone manufacturers a hardware-based solution that builds on the company’s hyperspectral software to significantly enhance photos taken in low-light conditions.

What is Hyperspectral Images (HSI)?

Sciencedirect.com says hyperspectral imaging is “a technique that analyzes a wide spectrum of light instead of just assigning primary colors (red, green, blue) to each pixel. … Unlike other optical technologies that can only scan for a single color, HSI is able to distinguish the full color spectrum in each pixel.”

Use in the beauty industry

The implications of Voyage81’s technology for the beauty and wellness industries are endless, and the fact that IL MAKIAGE mentions both the beauty and wellness industries when it talks about Voyage81’s acquisition could mean the brand plans on venturing into the wellness space as well as the beauty industry, in which is already established.

Voyage81’s software is capable of mapping and analysing skin and hair features, detecting facial blood flows, and creating melanin and hemoglobin maps from a simple smartphone camera photo. The technology, combined with IL MAKIAGE’s current AI algorithms, will enable leveraging users’ personal smartphone cameras to provide unparalleled online matching capabilities to users of IL MAKIAGE and its upcoming homegrown digital beauty and wellness brands.

IL MAKIAGE CEO Oran Holtzman says, “For the past two years, we have been searching for computational imaging solutions that can work in beauty and wellness to further advance our existing AI capabilities. I have met dozens of computer vision startups but could not find a technology that can fit our industry and was strong enough to fulfill our goals. Bringing on Voyage81’s patented technology and exceptional team to our tech and data science departments is a HUGE win for our company’s future, our users, and the industry at-large.”

“When we met Oran, we were focused on our own rapid growth trajectory with no plans at all to sell” notes Price, Voyage81 co-founder and CEO, ” In fact, we just finished round A funding and were already working with the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. But after meeting Oran and learning about the company’s long-term vision, we realized that under the IL MAKIAGE platform, Voyage81 technology will serve and benefit hundreds of millions of consumers, fulfilling our founding goal.”

“The technological advancements for IL MAKIAGE are immense.” Said Holtzman, “The software-only hyperspectral expansion, which requires only a traditional image from any smartphone camera, will be immediately integrated into the Company’s consumer experience.”

Voyage81 co-founder and CTO, Dr. Arad said “Combining Voyage81’s physics-based algorithms with IL MAKIAGE’s existing data science team and utilising the company’s one billion+ data points and unprecedented daily incoming data flow, will further boost our AI vision capabilities. Thus, I strongly believe that together we can conquer the next frontier in the beauty and wellness industries – creating a technological advantage that will be next to impossible to match.”

Voyage81’s technology was developed based on the doctoral research of Dr. Arad who was examining by how much the estimation of hyperspectral information from RGB data would be inferior to professional hyperspectral camera results. When he saw that the results were almost comparable, he thought he had introduced some errors into the comparison process, but after deep investigation he realised he was on to an exciting discovery that has the potential to reverberate throughout the world.

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