09/21/2015 14:27 EDT | Updated 09/21/2016 01:12 EDT

Big beauty brands using lip-reading technology developed by U of T professor

TORONTO — Canadian technology originally developed years ago to enhance speech recognition is now being used by some of the world's biggest beauty brands.

The lip-reading software was designed by University of Toronto professor Parham Aarabi's (PAHR'-um) (AH'-rub-ee).

Aarabi says the algorithms he built to track contours of lips are now used by cosmetics companies for different applications, such as adding different shades of lipstick to an image of a face uploaded by a user.

He says the technology can be used in an app or website.

In the next year or two Aarabi says his technology will allow customers to walk into a store, glance at a mirror and have different shades of lipstick on their reflection looking back at them.

He says 52 brands have licensed his technology that appears in more than 200 apps.

The Canadian Press