Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Technology to Measure Skin Moisture, Color, Surface Shape, and Elasticity by Analysis of Smartphone Facial Images

Request Number
Due Date
Jan 19
Program Manager

Joint/contract development, technology licensing


Phase 1 – Concept verification: 6 months
Phase 2 – Technology development: 1 year after Phase 1


Necessary development expense will be covered
(Details to be discussed).


How to  Apply
  • Click on "Respond", complete the form to the extent possible, and submit along with other attachment files available. 
  • After creating your account for NineSights, your draft will be automatically saved and you can resume later from "Control Center". Please note you do not submit confidential information at this process.
  • This request for proposals in PDF format is available here.


If you have any questions or request, please feel free to contact us at:
RFP was closed on
Jan 2019

RFP Title


Technology  to Measure Skin Moisture, Color, Surface Shape, and Elasticity by Analysis of Smartphone Facial Images
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing Shiseido* (http: //, seeks an image analysis technology to measure any one of skin moisture, color, clarity/complexion,  surface shape, and elasticity/resilience of skin. While Shiseido hopes to apply this technology to facial images taken by smartphones in the future, its aim with this request includes technologies and approaches from different technological areas.

Shiseido is aiming to implement proposed technologies and ideas on commercial products (apps), which are due to be released in 2020.


Key Success Criteria

Requirements of the target technology

  • The developed technology should be able to measure all or any of the following indices by processing images of human faces taken by smartphones. Shiseido also welcomes technologies with no history of application to facial images taken by smartphones as of present.
    • Moisture
      • Any of the following indices must be objectively measurable:
        • Absolute value of moisture content (%)
        • Freshness
        • Combined level of moisture and smoothness 
      • Human skin normally has a moisture level of approximately 10%–20%.
    • Color
      • The original color of the photographic subject must be measurable to an average level of accuracy of 3.0, based on color difference ΔE*ab in the CIELAB color space, after correction adjustment for lighting of the subject.
        • Approximate range of skin colors in CIELAB color space of the target Japanese customers is as follows:

          L*: 55–75

          a*: 5–20

          b*: 10–25

  • Clarity/complexion
    • Any of the following indices must be objectively measurable by analyzing color data, etc.
      • Complexion (good/ill)
      • Clarity of the skin (level of dullness)
      • Appearance of skin health (smooth; no stiffness)
  •  Surface shape
    • The surface condition of the skin such as wrinkles must be measurable by analyzing the roughness, unevenness, level of flatness.
  • Elasticity/resilience of skin
    • Any of the following indices must be objectively measurable by analyzing surface shape data, etc.
      • Skin elasticity/resilience
      • Skin sagging degree
  • All parts of the subject in the photograph must be able to be analyzed.
  • It is preferable that the technology be capable of consistent analysis under various photographing environments, such as with various angles of light exposure.
  • It is preferable to analyze the photograph that was taken by commonly-used iPhone’s front camera (e.g. 1932×2576 pixels). However, it is currently possible to use a high performance camera.

Fig. Example of a face picture for analysis

Possible Approaches

Possible Approaches

In addition to technologies with a history of full-face application, Shiseido also welcomes technologies from other technological fields, such as:

  • Agriculture
  • Foodstuffs
  • Oral and other forms of healthcare
  • Manufacturing
Items to be Submitted


Shiseido, a client of NineSigma, seeks an image processing technology that can enable measurement of indices such as skin moisture, color, clarity/complexion, surface shape, and elasticity/resilience based on full-face photographic images, with the goal of being able to assess the facial skin condition of subjects in a simple manner.

At the same time, Shiseido believes that technologies for measuring such physical properties and indices have probably already been developed in a broad range of sectors, from agriculture to foodstuffs, healthcare, and manufacturing. Shiseido believes that among these technologies there must be one that can be applied to the aims it is seeking to achieve.

Therefore, our client, Shiseido, has issued this open request in order to further accelerate their technology development and thereby establish such technology quickly.


Notes on Response

Proposal shall have clear points and should not include confidential information. Supplemental files may be submitted in addition to the proposal. 


Response evaluation

The client will evaluate all responses with the following criteria.

  • Overall scientific and technical merit
  • Approach to proof of concept or performance
  • Economic potential of concept
  • Realism of the proposed plan (action items, timeline, roles, deliverables, cost estimation)
  • Potential for proprietary position
  • Respondents’ capability and related experiences 


Anticipated Project Process

After reviewing submitted proposals, the client possibly ask clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select best candidates through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute NDA with selected respondents, seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities.

The client will execute necessary agreements with the selected respondents and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest