Every year, companies take the CES stage to debut innovations for a better future. And while we've seen our fair share of flashy gimmicks, there's also a refreshing focus on improving consumers' daily lives with enhanced safety features in smart-car systems, practical home-tech integration, and even inclusivity within beauty technology.
On the second day of CES, the L'Oréal Groupe unveiled two new beauty technology prototypes that are designed to expand access to self-expression through beauty.
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The first prototype, HAPTA, is an ultra-precise computerized lipstick applicator designed for people with limited mobility. The second device, L'Oréal Brow Magic, is an electronic eyebrow makeup applicator intended to help users quickly and accurately achieve their ideal brow look at home.
According to L'Oreal, the HAPTA tool -- apparently based on the handheld tech buzz word "haptic" -- was developed to assist the 50 million people worldwide who have limited fine motor skills. Designed by scientists and engineers, HAPTA will incorporate stabilization technology originally created by life science research company Verily into makeup application.
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Along with the stabilization feature, HAPTA includes a combination of built-in smart motion controls and customizable attachments to give the user improved range of motion, greater ease with stubborn product packaging, and of course, precision application.
The tool aims to make people feel independent and empowered to express themselves through beauty, according to L'Oréal. For example, the tool could help someone living with cerebral palsy have more control over their lipstick application. And while there are other beauty-tech products out there aimed to promote accessibility, L'Oreal's dedication to precision with the HAPTA tool and overall inclusive mission is both cutting-edge and inspiring.
"Inclusivity is at the heart of our innovation and beauty tech strategy," said Barbara Lavernos, deputy CEO of research, innovation and technology at L'Oréal. "We are dedicated and passionate to bring new technologies powering beauty services that augment and reach every individual's ultimate desires, expectations, and unmet needs."
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HAPTA also includes a magnetic attachment that contributes to ergonomic use, 360-degree motion, and 180-degrees of flexion. L'Oreal says HAPTA's built-in "clicking" feature creates an intuitive, customizable, and precise user experience, allowing users to "set" custom presets for an easier use. The tool includes a built-in battery that L'Oreal says takes three hours to reach full charge.
L'Oréal's HAPTA applicator is set to become available in the US sometime this year with a price tag in the $149-$199 range.
L'Oréal's second CES award-winner, the Brow Magic tool, also focuses on aesthetic efficiency. As someone with thick, stubborn brows, I can vouch for L'Oreal's claim that achieving a tamed eyebrow look can often require professional services. The company plans to replace that narrative with its Brow Magic tool, a handheld electronic device that supposedly gives you that micro-bladed, feathered look in seconds.
Developed in partnership with temporary tattoo tech company Prinker, Brow Magic aims to give users a professional-like, microbladed brow look at home. According to L'Oréal, the Brow Magic tool uses 2,4000 micro-nozzles combined with printing technology that has a printing resolution of up to 1,200 drops per inch (dpi).
The device connects to a smartphone app that uses L'Oréal's Modiface AR technology to scan the user's face and make brow suggestions, according to L'Oreal. Users can select their desired shape, thickness, and overall brow effect via the app before sweeping the Brow Magic across the brow.
L'Oréal also says that since the ink is only semi-permanent, the Brow Magic look can be removed with a standard makeup wipe or remover.
Set to launch at some point in 2023, my unruly eyebrows and I are highly anticipating giving this tool a try to see if it replaces my 1,000 brow tools.