How Nimble Uses AI to Paint Nails

A flawless manicure without lifting a finger

Key Takeaways

  • Nimble is a device that uses AI to paint and dry your nails in under 10 minutes.
  • The technology calculates each nail’s curve and shape to deliver a flawless manicure.
  • Nimble’s creator said we are nearing a world where the beauty industry will become more automated.
Woman using Nimble's AI nail machine while using her phone

Nimble

The days of struggling with at-home manicures are almost over, thanks to an AI machine that paints your nails for you. 

Tech startup Nimble Beauty recently introduced Nimble, a device that utilizes machine vision, high-resolution micro-cameras, and 3D image processing to do your nails quickly and efficiently. Omri Moran, the creator of Nimble, said the device brings more automated beauty routines one step closer to reality. 

"In your day-to-day life, anything that you know the result of, I think can and will be automated [in the future]," Moran told Lifewire over a video call. 

An AI Nail Device 

Moran first got the idea of an AI nail machine when he went on a first date with his now-wife, and she was late because her nails didn’t dry in time . Talking to his wife and other female friends, Moran realized the manicure process could be annoying, especially the drying time, and set out to create a solution to solve the problem.

"The problem is that you need to create a device that you can use at home—it should be simple and maintenance-free," he said. "You need a lot of technology inside of it to be able to accommodate all these hundreds of millions of potential users, and you need to get it right for the first time and every time."

Four and a half years of work later, Nimble is ready to paint nails. By placing your hand in the sleek machine, AI takes care of the entire nail-painting process—all in 10 minutes per hand. 

Interior close up shot of a person's hand inside Nimble AI nail machine

Nimble

"So identifying the fingernails, the contour, the shape, the features, all of it is AI," Moran said. "We have deep learning algorithms running to figure all of that out."

AI can scan the size, shape, and curvature of each nail. A tiny robotic arm communicates with complex algorithms to seamlessly paint your nails, while a warm airflow system simultaneously dries your nails.

"We can dry you while we paint you," Moran said. "It enables us to dry it much, much more efficiently because we have much less substance to deal with every time because of the different layers." 

"By being automated, your life becomes simpler. It’d be more like a spa routine and less like a traditional [beauty] routine."

And the AI is smart, too, with the device catching little details only a human would know, such as wiping the extra polish off of your brush. Moran said the AI calculates precisely how much polish it needs to paint a single nail.

The available nail polishes are also free of the chemicals other nail polishes have, are non-toxic, vegan, and come in capsule sets of three, including a base coat, color, and topcoat.

While Nimble is still in beta, Moran said he’s anticipating an October release. 

AI In Beauty 

In the beauty industry, AI provides users with more personalization, process automation, augmented decision making, and digital supply chain networks, which all typically require regular human intelligence.

Believe it or not, AI has already impacted the beauty industry, and there’s plenty of automated beauty products on the market. During the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show, Yves Saint Laurent debuted a Bluetooth-enabled, app-powered lipstick that can mix your ideal red/brown/pink shade to your liking.

There are also augmented reality apps for virtually trying on makeup, AI algorithms built into quizzes to give personalized skin care recommendations, and Luna fofo’s AI-based cleansing device that uses advanced sensors to analyze a user’s skin and generate customized routines.

According to Juniper Research, global retail spending on AI will reach $7.3 billion by 2022. Moran said he thinks there will be more products like Nimble and YSL’s Lipstick as AI technology becomes more widely available.

"I think processes that could be automated will become automated," he said. "By being automated, your life becomes simpler. It’d be more like a spa routine and less like a traditional [beauty] routine."

Imagine a future where your hair can be straightened or curled by a machine over your head while getting your nails done, flawlessly, without lifting a finger. Now that’s a beauty routine I can get behind.

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