Get your nails done by a robot if you have had a bad experience while opting for a manicure session. Nimble, a technology startup uses technology to take a robotic approach to manicures to provide foolproof nail polish.
Currently, the devices are being tested and fine-tuned, though none of them are offering a full salon-type manicure with shaping and buffing.
Currently, the nail care market is around $10 billion and estimated to reach around $11.6 billion by 2027.
How do Nail Robots work?
The robots consist of robotic arms to paint the nails, software that uses machine learning to differentiate between fingernails and surrounding skin. While each company uses a different approach, most of them rely on scanning thousands of nail shapes to create a database. The Cameras capture the nail photos of the users, which are repeated each time a manicure is done even for the same person. While the focus of the startups has been to use minimal moving parts and rely more on software to eliminate the risk of breakdown of moving parts in the long run.
Clockwork has come up with a tabletop device that is slightly bigger than a microwave, meant for stores, offices, and apartment complexes. It is a mix of computer vision and AI to nails, instead of the robotic arm, and uses old technology called gantry which relies on multi-axis movements to apply polish. Earlier last week the company opened in a storefront space in the Marina District of San Francisco, a pop-up location. The location is expected to stay open for at least six months and clients will have to pay $7.99 to test the device.
According to Ms. Apte, Clockwork founder, sifting through roughly 70 ideas before settling on what they called “manicures.”
Yet another startup Coral obtained $4.3 million in venture funding, to make a semi-robotic device in an effort to reduce cost.
Nimble on the other hand uses computer vision in combination with artificial intelligence. It has a robotic arm that offers 10-minute manicures in a device almost the size of a toaster. The company ran a Kickstarter campaign to create brand awareness and secured $10 million in seed financing. The company initially started in Tel Aviv, but now its headquarters are in Brooklyn.
There may be fear of human beings being replaced with robots, but according to stats, a 19 percent growth rate can be expected without any disruption. As none of the robots shape nails, this segment of the industry will remain unaffected.
According to Ms. Apte, they did not anticipate any job losses at salons, because her device would function as an extra service.
Mr. Leong of Coral said he did not expect his company’s device would put people out of work because it didn’t substitute for a full manicure.
According to Mr. Moran, you can polish and dry nails in less than 10 minutes using its proprietary formula. While the Clockworks manicure will take less than 10 minutes to paint the nails with a little additional time for drying.
While you can get your nails done for $10 in Clockwork, which intends to keep the ownership of its devices. While Coral intends to offer its devices for prices below $100 and Nimble intends to offer its device for around $399.
Tricia Kaufman, a health care and life sciences lawyer and partner at the Stinson law firm in Minneapolis said “While all the founders said their devices were safe, they were not required to undergo the type of arduous review that, say, certain medical devices would”
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