The cosmetic industry is dominated by a small number of multinational corporations that originated in the early 20th century, but the distribution and sale of cosmetics is spread among a wide range of different businesses.

The average person probably would look to the Gunner Technology team for fashion and beauty advice.

"No. Definitely not, " Gunner founder and CEO, Cody Swann, said. "We have some fashionable folks on the team, but, by and large, we're a shirt and blue jeans kind of company."

And yet, as of 2018, Gunner had tackled nearly a half dozen projects emanating from the cosmetics industry.

"You don't have to be a cosmetics expert to software for the cosmetics industry," Gunner Vice President of Product Development, Jeramiah Anthony, said. "But you do have to understand people, and how people interact with software. That, that we do really well."

With a market value projected to grow by $20.1 billion between 2014 and 2019, there's a a growing opportunity for software integration.

"It's crazy," Anthony said. "Honestly, I would have thought that all of the technological innovation would come from the hardware side - better equipment, better product - that kind of thing. But software is booming."

Gunner Technology's biggest foray into cosmetic software was iPolish, which created advances in both hardware and software to allow customers to "paint" their nails using nanotechnology.

"That was pretty advanced," Swann said. "But the big push right now is with AR."

AR or Augmented Reality, is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, providing a composite view.

A quick search in the app stores reveals hundreds of apps where users can virtually try on makeup and accessories prior to purchasing the real world equivalent.

"That's the tip of the iceberg," Anthony said. "We're seeing (Amazon's) Alexa be able to critique your makeup and offer suggestions based on your composition and natural look. Machine Learning and image recognition are going to push cosmetics to the forefront of software innovation. The future of cosmetics definitely 'looks good.'"


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