The beauty and cosmetics industry is witnessing a revolutionary transformation with the advent of artificial intelligence. In San Francisco, the startup Clockwork aims to revolutionize the beauty service experience with its A.I.-powered robots.
Co-founder and CEO Renuka Apte was motivated by her frustration with salon appointments. She envisioned these robots as a convenient option for customers, available in various locations, from apartment complexes to corporate offices and retail stores.
Nimble Beauty is another company making significant strides in the A.I. beauty market. Their home devices, capable of providing a four-coat manicure in about an hour, have already gained traction with over 5,000 units sold on Kickstarter. Nimble Beauty emphasizes that their machines continuously improve through A.I. learning and adaptation, making them capable of understanding and accurately performing tasks like nail painting.
According to Nimble Beauty’s CEO, Omri Moran, A.I. is crucial for robots to go beyond the simple repetition of predefined actions. It enables them to identify specific nails, understand their shape, and adapt to perform the tasks with precision. This advanced level of A.I. implementation ensures high accuracy in the beauty services provided.
Among the most remarkable examples of A.I. in beauty services are LUUM’s robotic arms, which delicately handle eyelash extensions. LUUM’s co-founder, Nate Harding, highlights that these robots complement human capabilities instead of replacing them. The complex and delicate nature of tasks like eyelash extensions requires years of development to perfect. Safety is a top priority, and LUUM’s robot arms are designed to be lightweight and attach with magnets.
While A.I. beauty solutions offer convenience and precision, concerns regarding job displacement among lash artists and nail technicians have arisen. The National Association of Lash Artists acknowledges these fears but believes that robots can attract a new clientele for lash extensions.
Addressing these concerns, Renuka Apte emphasizes that the A.I. machines are intended for express services and are not meant to substitute the whole, elaborate experience offered by skilled human professionals. She assures that machines cannot replace the gamut of things humans can do, and they serve as an efficient alternative for quick and convenient services.
Apte’s company, Clockwork, continues to expand its presence, installing two to three more machines in new locations every month. LUUM has recently installed a device at a ULTA Beauty store in San Jose, California. At the same time, Nimble Beauty anticipates making their at-home nail machine available for purchase early next year.
As the beauty industry embraces A.I. advancements, the debate over job displacement persists. However, the consensus remains that these machines complement human expertise and cater to a specific niche of services, leaving the elaborate beauty experience in skillful human hands.