L’Oréal believes that the future of beauty is inclusive, so as part of its efforts to make beauty expression accessible to more people, the cosmetics company made a new technology prototype that aims to advance the beauty needs of people with limited hand and arm mobility.
An estimated 50 million people around the world live with limited fine motor skills, and this makes some daily gestures, like applying makeup, difficult. To help address this problem, L’Oréal created HAPTA, a handheld, ultra-precise smart makeup applicator for people with limited hand and arm mobility, offering them the ability to steadily apply cosmetics at home.
How did HAPTA come to life?
Though HAPTA is still under development by L’Oréal scientists and engineers, a prototype of the device was unveiled at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 in Las Vegas on January 3rd.
According to Business Insider, L’Oréal started developing HAPTA about a year ago, after Guive Balooch, the global chief of L’Oréal’s technology incubator (the division that developed the device), met with Liftware CEO Anupam Pathak. A subsidiary of Verily Life Sciences, Liftware is a startup that makes high-tech eating utensils for people with a tremor or limited hand or arm mobility. The two had conversations about how Liftware users asked whether the company could create tools for applying makeup.
From there, L’Oréal scientists and engineers have begun to develop HAFTA with the help of people with limited fine motor skills. “This was codesigned with people with cerebral palsy, people with Parkinson’s, and experts in the field,” Balooch told Business Insider of the device. “I hope this will inspire the industry. It’s not just something that these people deserve — it’s deeply linked to our purpose.”
How does HAPTA work?
HAPTA features built-in smart motion controls as well as customizable attachments that give the user an improved range of motion, increased ease of use for difficult-to-open cosmetics packaging, and precision makeup application that is otherwise hard to achieve. The device is also equipped with a magnetic attachment that allows for easy ergonomic use, enabling for 360 degrees of rotation and 180 degrees of flexion.
HAPTA has a “clicking” feature that lets the user intuitively set the intended position, stay in position during use, and allow the user to lock in customized settings for future use. It comes with a built-in battery (three hours to full charge) and device charging, which results in one-hour continuous use (approximately 10+ applications).
Overall, the device doesn’t simply allow users to do their own makeup, it also helps them feel more confident, independent, and empowered to enjoy the self-expressive power of beauty.
Balooch told Business Insider that reviews from HAPTA testers with Parkinson’s disease, with cerebral palsy, and from people affected by a stroke have been very promising.
“They told us they didn’t feel they could be part of this industry,” Balooch said. “Having someone else apply it wasn’t enough for them. They wanted to apply makeup on their own. They now feel they can be part of this.”
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When will HAPTA be available?
HAPTA will be piloted with L’Oréal-owned Lancôme, first with a lipstick applicator followed by additional makeup applications in the future. The product is expected to be available in the United States at the end of 2023 and globally in 2023 for $149 to $199.
L’Oréal Brow Magic
In addition to HAPTA, L’Oréal also unveiled a prototype of L’Oréal Brow Magic at CES 2023. L’Oréal Brow Magic is the first at-home electronic eyebrow makeup applicator that provides users with customized brow looks in seconds. With the lightweight handheld device, people can achieve a personalized eyebrow look at home based on their natural brow and facial features.
A collaboration between L’Oréal and Prinker, a tech company that pioneers in printed, non-permanent tattoos, L’Oréal Brow Magic uses 2,400 tiny nozzles and printing technology with up to 1,200 drops per inch (dpi) printing resolution, providing users with their most precise brow shape in seconds. The eyebrow look created by L’Oréal Brow Magic can easily be removed with a standard makeup remover.
How to use L’Oréal Brow Magic
- Open the L’Oréal Brow Magic app and scan your face with the Modiface brow reader
- Select desired shape, thickness, and effect
- Brush the L’Oréal Brow Magic primer through your brows
- Move the printer across the eyebrow in a single, sweeping motion
- Apply a topcoat finish to lock in the look
L’Oréal Brow Magic release date
L’Oréal Brow Magic is expected to launch this 2023.