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Nov. 10, 2017

Publisher: ShiseidoShiseido Japan

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Shiseido Launches Amazon Alexa Skill

– Offering beauty advice through a hands-free voice service, Shiseido skill –

Shiseido Company, Limited (“Shiseido”) has launched a voice service providing beauty advice, Shiseido skill, in step with the Japan debut of Amazon’s cloud-based voice service “Amazon Alexa” (“Alexa”)*1. The skill offers voice guidance ranging from weather-tuned beauty tips to coverage methods for various skin concerns in response to the user addressing “Amazon Echo”*2(“Echo”), a smart speaker activated by voice only and available for hands-free use. The service is offered free of charge at Alexa Skills Store (Japan only).

Background of Shiseido skill development

Among a growing number of smart speakers offered by IT companies and other developers, the cloud-based voice service Alexa and Amazon Echo, a smart speaker for Alexa, are spreading rapidly, with a focus on the U.S. market. “Alexa Skills,” an additional function of Alexa, can be developed by third parties, and a large number of these have been developed and released up to date in the English version of Alexa.

To mark the launch of Alexa in Japan, Shiseido has partnered with Classmethod, Inc.*3 to develop a voice-assisted beauty advice service, Shiseido skill. All the user has to do is speak to her Echo. This hands-free feature of the new service is particularly convenient for makeup scenes when both hands are often occupied. Going forward, as other Alexa-friendly devices besides Echo are expected to appear, Shiseido skill will be constantly improved to provide even more efficient and convenient service to consumers for more personalized makeup experience.

About Shiseido skill

Shiseido skill can be activated by saying to Echo, “Alexa, start Shiseido” (or, “open Shiseido,” “begin Shiseido”), then choosing from the following functions through voice directions.
(1) Beauty weather forecast
Provides weather information in the user’s area (weather, maximum temperature, probability of rain) and offers appropriate beauty advice or warnings based on the weather conditions, such as “dry skin,” “UV rays,” “stickiness,” or “chilliness” (patent is pending for the algorithm of information selection).
*This function can be activated directly by saying, “Alexa, ask Shiseido for weather.”
(2) Base makeup advice
Alexa offers base makeup techniques to cover skin concerns voiced by the user. Currently, tips for ten skin concerns are available: “dryness,” “dark spots/freckles,” “pores,” “wrinkles,” “laugh lines,” “sagging,” “dullness,” “dark circles,” “redness,” and “acne.” (For “pores,” advice varies with the cause of the concern – “in case of oiliness” or “in case of sagging.”)
*This function can be activated directly by saying, “Alexa, ask Shiseido for makeup advice.”

Shiseido skill specifications

■Skill name: Shiseido
■Price: Free
■Areas of availability: Japan
■Date of available: upon start of Amazon Echo shipment
*Alexa-compatible device such as Echo, etc. is required for use

*1Alexa – the brain behind Amazon Echo
Alexa is the brain behind Amazon Echo, set up in the cloud so it’s always developing and getting smarter. Just ask Alexa and it will play music, read aloud news or your schedule, set a timer or an alarm, confirm the results of a baseball, sumo or any other match, supporting you in various aspects of daily life. Thanks to Echo’s remote voice control technology, all these functions can be activated from any corner of your room by simply speaking to Echo.

*2 Amazon Echo – hands-free, always on standby, instantly responsive
Echo is a hands-free speaker responding to your voice anytime. It lets you instantly connect to Alexa to get information, play music, learn news, weather, and more, using just your voice. Echo is equipped with a remote voice recognition technology and a 7-microphone array, allowing it to catch your voice without distortion from any corner of your room.

*3 About Classmethod, Inc.
Classmethod’s mission is “to support the creative activities of everyone” through the use of new technologies, such as cloud, big data, mobile, and voice recognition. Classmethod is committed to the digitalization of businesses and companies. Classmethod also supports information sharing by employees, and has released over 10,000 IT-related articles on its technical blog “Developers.IO.”
Website https://classmethod.jp/company/english/
Developers.IO (Japanese only) http://dev.classmethod.jp/

*The content of the release is correct as of the time of release, but please note that it may in some cases differ from the latest information.