If you have ever wondered what you'd look like with a different makeup scheme, a radically different hairstyle or, well, say something a bit more unusual - the creators of Taaz.com can help you.
According to its Web site, "Taaz.com is a fun, easy-to-use website that gives women the opportunity to “try on” the hottest makeup and hairstyle looks from the convenience of their homes. From creating the perfect smoky eye to painting on a dramatic ruby-red lip for a night out on the town, taaz.com allows women to become their very own makeup artist and create the perfect look for any occasion."
Before and After Example: Courtesy of Taaz.comOne of the founders of Taaz, David Kriegman, a professor of computer science at UC San Diego, told Inventor Spot that revenue at Taaz would initially come in through advertising on the site. But he noted, "We will be offering women the opportunity to buy the products needed to create their look."
While the site is being marketed for women, don't let the hard sell fool you. When you visit the "makeover" tab on the site, you can view before and after snapshots of not only women but also cats! And you can bet that men will soon be uploading their own before-and-after photos onto the site in due course.
Already, Taaz has proved itself to be a tremendous success since being launched March 18. "Our stats from just under four weeks from launch are 650,000 visits and 11 million page views," Kriegman said. "Awareness of taaz.com has been driven through word of mouth and online methods. We have found that the application is very viral and users are forwarding it on to their friends, talking about it on blogs, etc., which is very powerful since it is word of mouth and personal."
Before and After Example: Courtesy of Taaz.comIf you haven't already figured it out, the Internet is changing everything. And Taaz.com is just one example of the new world we are living in. The marketing material on its Web site speaks volumes about just how much the world has changed. According to Taaz.com, "The uses for these makeovers are endless: They can be saved, printed and brought to your makeup artist or hair stylist to convey the precise look you crave; emailed to friends; put on greeting cards; or used as online profile pictures on Facebook or MySpace. Taaz.com’s Social Network allows users to share images and makeovers with friends who can rate the look, provide comments and suggestions, and even add their own touch to the makeover, making taaz.com a social experience akin to going to the mall with friends."
Before and After Example: Courtesy of Taaz.comSo how does it exactly work? According to Kriegman, "Users start by uploading their own digital photo and then experiment with a palette of thousands of colors and shades in products ranging from foundation and concealer to multi-tone eye shadow and lip gloss – even colored contact lenses! With the addition of a hairstyle or change of hair color, the look is complete. The effects are immediate, simple to use and so lifelike that the saved result looks like a real photograph. In order to help viewers bring these looks to life, taaz.com's experts offer engaging beauty, fashion and style trends, tricks and advice."
Kriegman noted, "We are looking at a real gap in what is available for women today. While we can easily buy packaged products and even soft goods on the Internet, there is no way for women to experience aesthetic products on the Internet like in real life. Taaz.com is significant step in this direction since it offers women a chance to see what they'd look like with different makeup, hairstyle, contacts, and eventually jewelry, glasses, and other accessories. Our technical background is in computer vision and computer graphics, enables us to provide that photorealistic user experience."
In addition to Kriegman, the Taaz team includes Satya Mallick, who recently graduated with a doctorate from the Jacobs School of Engineering and another partner, Kevin Barnes.
The trio received financial aid from the university and the Jacobs School's von Liebig Center, as well as venture capital firm iSherpa. The University of California San Diego owns rights to the algorithm that it has licensed to Taaz.
The team behind Taaz.com has a patent pending.