Automation is touching every spectrum of existence, then why should personal care be left behind? Coral is a company that is answering this question by ’simplifying the personal care space through smart automation.’ It raised $4.3 million to get the ball rolling. Its first goal is to achieve an at-home, fully automated machine for painting your nails. How will it work? Stick a finger in, press down, wait a few seconds, and voila! You’ve got a fully painted and dried nail. According to Techcrunch, the team referred to the idea as a “Keurig coffee machine, but for nails.”
Coral is still a little secretive about the details, declining to reveal much about how it works. However, the company told Techcrunch that it paints one finger at a time, taking about 10 minutes to go from bare nails to all fingers painted and dried.
The Machine Requires Coral’s Proprietary Nail Polish
One should not expect to pop open a bottle of nail polish and pour it in. The machine will need Coral’s proprietary nail polish to speed up the drying process while ensuring a durable paint job. The company’s polish will come in pods (that’s why the Keurig comparison is particularly fitting), which the user will be able to buy individually or get via subscription.
Under the skin of the machine, there is a camera and some proprietary computer vision algorithms, which allow it to paint the nail accurately without requiring manual nail cleanup from the user after the job is completed.
Additionally, the price is still under wraps or to explain it well, it is yet to be determined. While Coral’s co-founder Ramya Venkateswaran expects it to be a ’premium device’, the company hasn’t nailed down an exact price just yet.
Naturally, we’ve seen several types of nail painting machines over the years (including the ones that can do all kinds of wild art). However, Coral claims that its system is the only one that does not require the user to first prime their nails with a base coat or clear coat it afterward. All you need here is a bare fingernail and you are good to go.
Currently, eight people work for Coral, mostly mechanical, chemical, and software engineers. Meanwhile, both co-founders have experience in hardware; previously, Venkateswaran worked as a product strategy manager at Dolby, where she helped launch the Dolby Conference Phone. Back in 2012, her co-founder Bradley Leong raised around $800,000 on Kickstarter to ship Brydge (one of the earliest takes on a laptop-style iPad keyboard). Leong said that it was during some industrial hardware research there when he discovered “the innovation that this machine is based off of.”
According to Vankateswaran, CrossLink Capital, Root Ventures, Tandem Capital, and Y Combinator backed the company raises $4.3 million.
For the next step, Coral will be working on turning the prototype into a consumer-ready device. It plans to spend the next few months running a small beta program.
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