Robo manicures are all the rage–but are robot manicures the way of the future?

Let's Talk Robot Manicures

Your Guide to Understanding This New Tech Trend

OK, if you’re anything like us, you probably read the title of this blog and thought, “robot manicures? As if.”

When we first heard the robot manicure term, we were a little skeptical to,o—but here’s the thing, robot manicures are a real deal thing, and they’re starting to catch on.

And it’s exactly as it sounds, too, a literal robot can paint your nails in a totally contactless way.

That means you could ultimately eliminate the need to be one-on-one with people seeking a nail painting service.

Obviously, this isn’t the norm yet—it’s still sort of an outlandish thing.

But it is happening and we can expect things like this to continue to pop up as our modern society gets, well, even more modern.

So, with this stuff in mind, the biggest question remains—how do we adapt to technology in the industry?

We’re going to break down a few need-to-know things about this new technology to give you some insight and advice on how to handle it.

We’ll also give you some serious details about robot manicures because, like, c’mon, we’re all pretty curious about what they are and how they work, OK.

First Things First, What Exactly Is a Robot Manicure? 

Before we even begin to dish on how to best adapt to a world where robot manicures are a thing, let’s take a moment to discuss what this type of technology is in the first place.

A robot manicure isn’t a clever marketing name, it’s quite literally as it sounds—a robot is giving you a manicure.

Well, sort of.

OK, so it’s not like a walking-talking robot that’s dipping its weird little robot hand into a nail polish bottle.

Instead, it’s a small, microwave-like machine that scans a person’s individual nails and then paints each nail in a circular pattern (with the nail polish of their choice, of course).

As of now, robot manicures aren’t full-fledged, all-out manicures.

There’s no shaping or cutting, and there’s certainly no applying acrylics or gels.

Instead, the machine takes a photo of each nail, one at a time, then fills it with polish in a calculated squirted motion.

So, what’s the real appeal to the robot manicure thing?

It’s fast, it’s efficient, and it takes care of a weekly chore in no time at all.

Plus, it’s supposedly pretty affordable.

According to Clockwork (the folks who put together the first-ever robot manicure situation in San Francisco), their machine can paint ten nails perfectly in just ten minutes (and they’re only charging $8 to do it).

Their advertising? They call it the Clockwork Minicure—No slip ups. No slow down. No small talk.

In other words, it’s a quick, no-nonsense way for someone to tackle a speedy service without having to deal with people (which is definitely something people sometimes want).

Clockwork was one of the first establishments to put the robot manicure thing on the map. But they've been catching on in other places, too. 

Now, folks can get these robo manicures other places, too. The bots, though, are still Clockwork's proprietary tech. 

Robot manicures can do polish, similar to the pictured setup, but it cannot give customers customized sets.

For example, Clockwork has machines going into some Target locations now. It's relatively niche thing, but lots of people are still talking about their experiences with it.  

What Do Robot Manicures Mean For the Nail Tech Industry?

First things first, if you’re a nail tech and you’re reading up on this technology in a total panic thinking you’re going to be replaced with an automated machine, take a deep breath—that’s not what’s happening here.

These robot manicures aren’t at the point where they could even come close to replacing your job or your skillset.

Robot manicures are strictly polish bots, there for quick fixes that take ten minutes or less—they don’t cut or shape nails and they certainly aren’t predicted to put nail techs like you out of business. Even if these little bot techs are catching on, it's a pretty slow burn. There's no way they're going to replace nail salons or beauty shops that specialize. 

In fact, it’s more than likely these nail services will become more like contactless kiosks in retail stores and office buildings—not dedicated nail salon stops designed to put you out of work.

So, this technology doesn’t mean that you need to ditch your nail tech craft and opt for something else, but it does mean you need to be aware of the way the industry is going.

Is it likely that any machine is ever going to have the human touch or skill that it takes to craft the perfect set of nails?

We doubt it—but it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends (especially in technology) to see how you can capitalize on them.

If robot manicures do become the norm, why fight it?

Think about it—these little AI machines are quick fixes that take care of polish and polish alone.

Why wouldn’t this be a kickass way to increase your turnaround time, get more people in your salon, and tackle quick jobs even quicker?

Think about all the time it could clear up for you and your fellow nail techs—you’re already doing the tough stuff, wouldn’t it be nice if someone else (or something else) could tackle the basic polish jobs for you?

Look, we’re not saying we’re rooting for technology to take over, but we do think being adaptable n the industry is everything.

So, if it happens—let it! Figure out how to capitalize on it and make it work for you!

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