Can Stem Cells Smooth Wrinkles?

4 comments June 20th, 2006at 09:25pm Posted by Eli

Technology + Vanity = Profit!

Applying technology used for inspecting semiconductor wafers for defects, BrighTex developed the Clarity Pro facial image scanner, which claims to identify bacteria-clogging pores, show where wrinkles are forming and identify skin damage caused by the sun.


BrighTex, a San Jose, Calif.-based start-up, hopes to create a cheaper version for home use. Someday, the company even envisions its technology being built into cellphones or laptops so consumers can get an analysis of their skin on the go.


”We have developed algorithms which can recognize features and shapes and the significance of things before something develops fully,” says Chhibber. ”When it’s in the 5 percent stage, we can tell what it will turn into.” That means the product can tell if a wrinkle just starting to form will turn into a deep wrinkle or a fine line.

After taking a white light and UV image of a person’s face, that image is entered into a software program to detect damage. In the case of clogged pores, Clarity Pro can identify what type of bacteria is in the pores and predict where acne will form.

For sun damage, the facial scanner can tell how much damage is under the skin, how long a person can stay in sun before the skin is damaged more and forecast the chances of a person getting skin cancer due to harmful UV rays.

Chhibber, who founded the company in January 2005, comes from a semiconductor background and said the leap from detecting defects in wafers to defects in faces wasn’t that big. ”To me inspecting a face or a wafer is very similar,” he says, since in both cases you have to look for the tiniest of defects. [I hear the “Wafer Look” is in this season.]

Clarity Pro can also be used to monitor the progress of a particular facial cream to see if it is reducing wrinkles or improving sun damage. For the cosmetics field, Chhibber says a future product will be targeted toward research and development departments and may result in better creams and lotions.

Part of me is appalled, part of me thinks this is… kinda cool. On the one hand, I really can’t diss anything that could help fight skin cancer or even acne. On the other hand, this looks like a huge cash cow for the cosmetic industry, which would make all kinds of money exploiting vain wrinklephobes desperate to stamp out any signs of aging before they hatch.

Entry Filed under: Technology,Weirdness


  • 1. four legs good  |  June 20th, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    Hey, that technology won’t be cool until they can actually DO something about the wrinkles.

    Which I would be totally in favor of.

    Wouldn’t you want to live forever? I would. So much to do, only one lifetime. It’s a bummer.

  • 2. Eli  |  June 20th, 2006 at 11:21 pm

    Well, I guess it would depend on my quality of life. I wouldn’t mind being healthy forever, but I don’t want to be Grampa Simpson for 800 years.

    (“Look what happened without my pills!!!”)

  • 3. karmic_jay  |  June 21st, 2006 at 9:44 am

    cash cow is good, what ya libuhruhls got against profit? ;-)

    For our navel gazing lesson this is another thing to buy or chrge on that plastic card.

    From your post below
    Not only that, but the medical industry isn’t going to want to let other countries take the lead. My guess is Bush loosens the policy sometime next year.

    The companies may just oursource the research to Europe or India?

  • 4. Eli  |  June 21st, 2006 at 11:03 am

    Is outsourcing R&D a common practice? I haven’t heard of anything like that, although that probably doesn’t mean anything… I can’t think of any reasons why it couldn’t be done. Might put a dent in our national pride, but I don’t t ink that would really discourage anyone…

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