The last days of the artisanal, $190 manicure may be upon us. Set down your mechanical toothbrush, step away from your auto-timed cup of Keurig and feast your eyes on the first nail art-printing robot (at resolutions up to 1200 dpi). Nailbot is here to emancipate you from Carpal Tunnel-inducing teeny-bristled brushes and your prohibitive mani addiction.
The machine is the brainchild of Preemadonna, a company focused on providing girls and women “with technology that is relevant to their lifestyle” (not to be confused with those masochistic waist trainers). In an interview with Refinery29, Pree Walia, the group’s co-founder and CEO, presented the Nailbot as an artistic outlet for both girls and boys: “We turned your smartphone into a personal nail salon,” Walia stated. “We also can’t wait to see what people do with the Nailbot. It’s really a platform for creativity. So your mind is the limit.”
The process is simple: Prep your nails with a light base coat and a layer of regular polish, insert phone in Nailbot cradle, select an image from your phone, watch the magic happen, then finish off with a protective top coat. Your library of potential nail designs is vast: choose from your camera roll, the Preemadonna gallery, the licensed nail art section or masterpieces you’ve created using the Nailbot app.
“We are learning more and more about what people like to print and wear on their nails,” Walia continued. “Junk food emojis are very popular…but a lot of folks want to print pictures of their dogs, cats or even best friends,” she added.
While nail technicians may not be so enthusiastic about this innovation in their field, the Nailbot is still limited to 2D printing (read: no beloved jewels here). Plus, we can imagine savvy (nail) artists using the tool to build their brand, releasing their own Kimoji-esque lines to accompany the bot. To wit: “With our Artist Ambassador program, Ambassadors and users, girls especially, will use digital software programs to design Nailbot nail art,” Walia told Refinery29.
At the moment, Nailbot remains in the early beta testing stage, but the next set of pre-orders will be available this coming fall (as expected, there’s already a waitlist). Pricing remains a mystery, but we’re guessing it’s fairly affordable, based on Walia’s professed vision of a future with a Nailbot in every home. In Walia’s (and our) utopia, gone will be the torturous biweekly ritual of watching paint dry, deprived of our own screens and music — she hopes to “eventually introduce a Nailbot that paints your entire nail with fingernail polish.” Our only question: where’s HandMassagebot?