updated 09:00 am EDT, Wed July 11, 2007
HP Color Matching
HP Labs today unveiled a new technology it says could change color matching items while shopping, especially clothing and makeup. The new system would use a buyer's cameraphone and a specialized color chart to develop recommendations. Owners would take a self-portrait with the chart in view and send it to the store as an MMS, HP says; once the image is adjusted to compensate for lighting, the store's servers would then compare the pixel colors of the user's face against the skin tones of other people and make recommendations for goods based on a color-matched catalog.
Although developed by camera maker HP, the technique would not depend on any particular cameraphone or special support from the cellular network provider, the labs claim. Using the advancement would let shoppers order the right cosmetics without having to be in-store to ask a clerk for advice or relying on their own best guesses. HP doesn't have an immediate plan to roll out the feature but is ready to license the technology today to retailers and other shops that could see a benefit from the research.