Your manicure can get an upgrade with slices of pepperoni pizza and kissy face emojis thanks to the Nailbot, a portable robot that prints images directly onto your fingernails.
The robotic device is currently featured on Indiegogo with a $150,000 funding goal. Nailbot had raised more than $23,000 at the time of publication. The campaign will end on Dec. 14.
Nailbot was created by robotics company Preemadonna. It’s inventor, Pree Walia, tellsMashable that she created the portable nail printer to eliminate the need for expensive and inconvenient trips to salons while you’re on vacation.
Walia says the Nailbot also solves the problem of sticking decals on your manicure by replacing the stickers with actual printed images. In addition, it provides a more diverse selection of nail art to choose from.
Using her varied background in political campaign building and LED lighting and controls, Walia spent three years designing the Nailbot.
“It was an evolution,” she said of the long process. “No hardware product happens over night. It takes time.”
Using a light colored nail polish, an ink receptive coat (which helps make sure the image stays on as long as possible), and preloaded art on an app, the Nailbot can create images on your nails in less than 30 seconds. The whole experience can take between 3-5 minutes — depending on how long it takes you to chose an image to print.
Although light colored nail polish is recommended so the art pops on your nail, you can use dark colors with lighter art to decorate your fingernails as well.
And, if you make a mistake, or decide you no longer want an image on your nail, you can use an acetone based nail polish remover to wipe away the image without removing the polish — although this only works with gel manicures right now.
Walia — who was sporting a kitten, American flag and snowflake on her manicure when she spoke to Mashable — describes the Nailbot prototype as an efficient piece of tech. After choosing a desired image from a preloaded image gallery, she merely places her smartphone on the Nailbot and her hand in the cradle. When she hits print, there is a slight movement of a motor and presto, the image of a diamond appears on her finger.
A smaller, more portable version of the Nailbot prototype will be sent to Indiegogo backers in 2016. This device will use the back facing camera on the smartphone to size an image onto a fingernail. Eventually, Walia hopes to debut an even smaller Nailbot that is run solely on battery and is swipe to print (as opposed to using your camera on the device). This petite device will be bluetooth operated.
In addition to a pre-loaded art gallery, the Nailbot app also features a licensed art section for companies and users to contribute their own art. Because this section features licensed work, users will most likely have to pay a subscription fee, or opt for a pay-as-you-go method — although this has not yet been decided by the creators. For now, contributors can send their art to Preemadona to be uploaded to this section.
“We’re creating an art marketplace. Our goal with our app is not just to print fingernails, it’s really to create a mobile art marketplace for creativity.”
Nailbot users can also print images directly from their camera roll, a free feature that is also included on the app. Yes, that’s right. You can print photos of your adorable dog or cat directly onto your nails.
“For me, the Nailbot isn’t just a nail printing robot. It’s really about inspiring other girls,” Walia says. “We’re teaching girls how to design their own Nailbot nail art using software programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. We become stronger as a company and community…the more girls we have contributing the art and learning the technology.”
Although battery is ideal for Nailbot portability, the current prototypes require an outlet. Walia says her team is working on battery integration into the Nailbots that will be shipped to Indiegogo backers, but says this may not happen. She notes that Nailbots in the far future will be battery powered.
Nailbot will retail for $199, and will eventually be sold on Preemadona’s website. Cartridge and nail polish refills will also be available in the website store. Nailbot is currently only available in the United States, but Walia hopes to expand internationally after the Nailbot is perfected.
“At the end of the day, we are still an early stage startup. We are looking to our community to help power our inventions and our company. We really want to make sure we get it right here in the United States,” she says.
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