Jasen Hill, Engineering Manager, Arbor Australia, presented Arbor Australia's Nail Designs Kiosk at Microsoft's Internet of Your Things event

Just over one year ago, at Arbor Technology we were challenged by our client Glamour Nail to develop an unattended kiosk, which could be placed in locations such as shopping centres, arcades and cinemas, allowing users –predominantly 8-18 year old females – to print nail art directly on to their nails. Transferring designs directly to the nail is a process the beauty and nail industry has been looking to automate for many years, and to the best of our knowledge is the first of its kind in the world.

Today, at Microsoft Australia’s Internet of Your Things event I was pleased to discuss Arbor Technology’s journey to helping deliver upon this vision, and was excited to showcase the Nail Designs Kiosk. The machine allows users to design and choose their own nail artwork – such as photos of popular bands, pictures of their friends taken from the front facing built in camera or abstract art – before printing onto your nail of choice. 

Nail Designs Kiosk

It’s taken us eight months to get from the initial concept to the prototype on show today, but in that short time we’ve already overcome many challenges. The biggest of these has been developing a whole new format of printing direct to nail that adhered to various international health and safety regulations, such as those in use in Australia, the US, UK, Japan and the Middle East.

Given the individual regulations in each country this was no easy feat, and at one point we were told that what we were looking to achieve was not scientifically possible. However, combining the expertise of chemical scientists along with our own embedded and networking technologies with manufacturing processes, we were able to create a device that previously did not exist.

Another key consideration for Arbor Technology was what operating system the Nail Design Kiosk would run on. We needed a reliable OS that could be easily installed and developed upon remotely, was able to store over 1,000 customisable logos, and which could also be switched on and off at the power socket with guaranteed ability to power back on without user intervention. Microsoft’s Windows Embedded platform provided us with a solution to these challenges as well as speed to market for app’ development and back end infrastructure to support remote management of the device. Without these key features the Nail Designs Kiosk would have taken longer to produce with increased R&D costs to achieve a similar result.

 Nail Designs Kiosk Screen Saver

While there are still a few hurdles to overcome until the unattended Kiosk is ready for market, the feedback we’ve received on our prototypes from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Given the machine’s ability to offer nail art at a fraction of the price of a salon, we’ve seen consumers eager to use the machine having seen its results elsewhere. We even had one shopping chain want to purchase their own Kiosk to give users the choice of printing its logo onto their nails.

In developing the Nail Design Kiosk with our partners, we’ve not only satisfied our client’s objectives, we’ve made some scientific and technological breakthroughs, and we’re looking forward to rolling it out officially in the coming months.