A few months ago Skype for Business partnered with some Japanese developers to create a well-intended but ultimately sexist software layer added to its Skype video conferencing app.
The concept and marketing behind the app centered around female users of Skype for Business being able to apply a virtual makeup layer atop their video conferencing image. While the virtual makeup layer would presumably be available to men who also sought to apply that last minute layer of foundation, the concept of the project seemed to be targeting women who may feel self-conscious about attending meetings without makeup.
The ill-conceived project seemed shelved in favor of taste and reason, but it seems Skype is back at it and partnered with Japan-based cosmetic company Shiseido to resurrect the virtual makeup software.
According to PCWorld, Skype and Shiseido have rebranded the tool as TeleBeauty and look to be marketing its arrival soon. Perhaps, Shiseido and Skype are massaging the public relation kinks that will undoubtedly arise, as there is no clear way to download the app nor is there any information as to when the virtual makeup layer will be released.
Despite the lack of concrete usage information, Shiseido has added some reason it believes Skypes virtual makeup will appeal to users (if not predominantly women).
While it might seem easy to condemn the idea that female conference participants would require or even need a virtual makeup layer to attend video meetings, Shiseido has presumably done some market research into this phenomenon.
Perhaps, the app takes off in Japan and TeleBeauty becomes a popular feature of Skype for Business used across the world or it could easily become another ill-fated, short-lived PR mark for the two companies, only time will tell.Further reading: Microsoft, Skype