|Do you feel like you’re playing Russian Roulette when it comes to selecting a new hair style? The days of pouring thru magazines and hair style books in search of just the right hair style may soon be over. Gone will be hair cut style, perm and color disasters and the stress-filled anticipation of getting a new hair style.
A company based in Christchurch, New Zealand, Stellure has developed the world’s-first hair makeover software technology that can create a 3-dimensional model of your face so you can see what a hair style will look like from all angles. Users of the software can simply upload one or two photographs of themselves so that their own 3D model can be created. Various hair styles are suggested based on hair density, hair length and face shape. The software has been developed as a web application that is available 24/7 online at www.stellure.com . The software application is very user-friendly and has a free face shape trial to check out!
Today, we will have a brief question and answer session with Stellure CEO- Daniel Sim Lind, in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Question: What are some of the primary factors that led to the development of Stellure.com?
Answer: Initially we planned to develop a 2D hairstyle makeover product much like the ones that have been in the market for years. After working on the idea for a while it became obvious that no-one can really know whether a hairstyle will suit them with only the font view to judge by. I really wanted to develop a tool, not a toy.
A lot of people choose their hairstyle based on what looks good on someone else, but I wanted people to be able to see what would look good on them. A jagged or blurry front view just isn’t good enough. So, we set about developing Stellure, and after more than a year of development and technical innovations here we are.
Question: What is the significance of the name Stellure?
Answer: Stellure is a conjunction of style and allure – something that I am sure that every women wants their hairstyle to reflect.
Question: What is your background? Experience?
Answer: Our management team comes from backgrounds in product development, technology and marketing. In the past we’ve worked on several successful technology companies, and their products have received excellent reviews on CNN and BBC World and in PC World, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Age and many others.
While we knew we had the expertise to create great technology, we wanted Stellure to become a leading fashion company, so we hired stylists who had backgrounds in film and television and teaching.
Question: Why did it take almost a year to develop the technology? What steps were involved?
Answer: The whole project was uncharted territory. We encountered hundreds of individual barriers that we had work out how to overcome. Because we wanted to make Stellure really easy to use we had to hide how complex the technology is, and that made it even tougher to develop. Although it may look effortless on screen, the technology driving Stellure is a world-first. In fact, we have patents pending on many aspects of it.
Question: What makes your makeover software different than other hair visualization software programs currently available on the Internet?
Answer: Stellure is the only makeover software that allows you to see yourself in 3D. This is really important because it means you can check out new hairstyles from every direction. Our hairstyles aren’t just cut out of magazines and then stuck on top of a photo of your face. They’re high-resolution images allowing you to see the individual strands of hair. Each Stellure hairstyle is based on a series of photographs of a real hairstyle.
We can also create a 3D model of your face based on just two photographs, which allows you try on all the styles in our growing catalogue and see how they would look on you. It’s quite amazing the first time you see yourself in 3D like that.
We’ve also got a Face Shape Wizard that helps you to objectively determine your true face shape. That’s another world first. You can forget what your Aunt Mabel told you when you were little, or trying to guess by looking in the mirror. The Face Shape Wizard takes you through it step by step – no more guess work!
Question: Were there other salon professionals that helped with the development and direction of the makeover software?
Answer: Besides the initial set of stylists we brought in, we’ll be bringing in new talent all the time to contribute to each new collection. Having industry leading stylists on board is absolutely essential to Stellure meeting its full potential. Stellure will never be “finished”. We’re constantly adding new features and collections, and that requires ongoing contributions by the hair industry pros.
One of the big features that’s been widely requested is color tinting. We’ve got a new lifelike tinting system that’s just getting the finishing touches. When that comes out you’ll be able to see every style in a range of colors.
Question: How many hair styles and types are available at stellure.com?
Answer: We’ve only just recently launched Stellure, so we’re really excited to be able to announce that our first general collection of 147 styles is now available. This first set includes a wide variety of styles to meet the needs of as many people as possible. There’s everything from dreadlocks and prom styles to elegant, business, and everyday styles. We’ll be releasing new general and specialized collections soon.
As you can imagine, each style is very time-consuming to create in 3D. At the moment we’ve got 6 and 12 month memberships available at very low prices. As the catalogue grows the price will have to rise. The idea is that those people who get in early can enjoy all the new styles and features that we add over the next year at no additional cost. They’ll also be able to renew their membership at that same price. We really want to reward the people who support us early on.
Question: Does the makeover software address different cultures and corresponding country-specific hair styles? I.E. Japanese, Asian, African American, White, Hispanic, Arabian, etc.
Answer: Yes. Both our 3D models and hairstyles are designed to be appropriate for different cultures and ethnicities. In the future we’ll be adding specialized collections for different regions.
Question: What about different age brackets and gender? I.E. teens, children, men
Answer: Stellure is presently designed to cater for women from age 12 and above. We’re working on the men’s service, which should be available in the next 6 to 12 months.
Question: Do you plan to partner with beauty salons around the world so that the salon can offer this service to its clients?
Answer: We are currently working on the development of a special salon version of Stellure. The feedback we’ve had from the salon industry is that they want Stellure in their salons ASAP. We’re going as fast as we can to get the salon version ready for release.
Question: In conclusion, can you offer some advice to anyone considering a new hair style
Answer: Choosing a hairstyle is a really important decision as it can seriously impact how you feel about yourself. While it’s fine to base your style on one that looks good on someone else, what works for them may not work for you. Our aim is to make it possible for you to find out what will work for you, before the first cut is made. It’s really important that what you have in your head is the same as what your stylist is imagining. A picture is worth a thousand words, so a Stellure style print-out can make it much easier to communicate your dream style. A talented stylist who really understands what you’re after is a great asset.
Thank you Daniel for speaking with us today about your exciting makeover software.
You’re most welcome. This is a topic that I’ve become passionate about, and I’ve really enjoyed having the chance to talk with you and your readers about it.
About the author:
Perriann Rodriguez is the founder of www.hairresources.com--the place for World Class Hair Styles + Beauty Salons. She is listed in the 2004 Who's Who of Executives and Professionals and the U.S. Register of American Writers.
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