Founded in 2016 as a spinoff from Northeastern University’s Synergetic Media Learning Laboratory by Raymond Fu, Giaran is powered by AI technology, such as computer vision, big data and augmented reality, and creates novel algorithms of deep learning, data mining and predictive modeling, according to Shiseido. Current technology within Giaran includes Makeup Virtual Try On, Tutorials, Color Matching, Personalized Recommendations, Makeup Removal, Face Tracking and Skin Tone Detection. The technology can be used across mobile, tablet and desktop as well as through a smart mirror powered by full HD augmented reality.
“Since our founding in 1872, Shiseido has been dedicated to remaining at the forefront of beauty," said Masahiko Uotani, president and group CEO of Shiseido Company, Limited. "Through Giaran’s leading AI technology and our global innovation network, we’re continuing our journey of transforming how people discover and fall in love with products, creating deeply personal connections between our brands and consumers, and building a path to growth with consumers at the center.”
Giaran will remain based in Boston, Massachusetts and will become part of Shiseido’s Makeup Center of Excellence, where it will work closely with Shiseido’s Global Digital Center of Excellence (based in New York) and its global technology team in Tokyo, in order to enhance and support the continued development of Giaran’s technology. The company will operate in sync with and supplement MATCHCo, a beauty personalization startup acquired by Shiseido Americas in early 2017, and the Americas Innovation Center, Shiseido’s research and development facility based in East Windsor, New Jersey. Giaran will leverage its simulation technology across Shiseido’s portfolio and further expand Shiseido’s capabilities in beauty customization, all with the goal of driving consumer engagement and providing an unmatched consumer experience.
“Raymond and the Giaran team have created truly novel AI technologies for cosmetic applications, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Shiseido family," said Marc Rey, president and CEO of Shiseido Americas. "Building on our acquisition of MATCHCo earlier this year, Giaran will provide Shiseido with immediate expertise and advanced technologies to further expand our digital capabilities, while also allowing for greater consumer intimacy through personalized offerings and enhanced user experiences. We share Giaran’s philosophy that digital is a mindset rather than a tool, and we look forward to bringing more disruptive innovation to reinvent the beauty industry business model.”
Fu received a PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a successful serial entrepreneur and tenured professor of Northeastern University at Boston, affiliated with both College of Engineering and College of Computer and Information Science. He is a Fellow of the International Association for Pattern Recognition, Member of ACM Future of Computing Academy, and has published over 300 publications with citation over 7500 times. He is recipient of numerous international awards and honors, including 9 best paper awards and 9 prestigious young investigator and early career awards from international societies, national academy, and major government agencies, for his outstanding record of academic and industrial achievements, and long-term high-impact contributions to the fields of pattern recognition, data mining, machine learning and visual intelligence.
“This is an extremely exciting move for Giaran at a pivotal moment in beauty. Shiseido shares our belief that in today’s fast-changing market, continuous evolution of product and consumer-centric innovation are key to deepening relationships with consumers and finding new fans," said Fu, who is also a professor at Northeastern University. "Incubated from an excellent research laboratory at Northeastern University, Giaran has great respect and admiration for Shiseido’s long-held commitment to science and innovation. We are very pleased to be joining such a passionate, talented and creative group of people to shape Shiseido's technological revolution and the future of beauty.”