Beauty has come on leaps and bounds when it comes to diversity and inclusivity, yet there is one frontier it's still yet to fully conquer. Disability.
The World Health Organisation reports that around 15 percent of the world’s population lives with some form of disability and yet only 4 percent of beauty and personal care brands create products that cater for physical disabilities, according to research carried out by Procter & Gamble.
Daily gestures like applying lipstick are often taken for granted by able bodied people, yet an estimated 50 million people globally live with limited fine motor skills, making these rituals somewhat challenging. Pleasingly L’Oréal is looking to change that by launching the HAPTA device, the world’s first handheld computerised make-up applicator that's designed for users with limited hand and arm mobility, offering them a way to steadily apply lipstick at home.
What is Hapta?
Under development by L’Oréal scientists and engineers, HAPTA (which translates to science of touch) cleverly incorporates technology originally created to stabilise utensils, which was vital in giving people with limited fine motor skills the capacity to eat with confidence and independence.
How does Hapta work?
A really smart piece of tech, HAPTA works thanks to a combination of built-in smart motion sensors that work in real time, plus customisable attachments that give the user an improved range of motion and increased ease of use for difficult-to-open packaging. Perhaps most impressively, it can distinguish between hand tremors and the intentional movement of the hand, allowing sensors to adjust to the user every second to maintain stability.
Attached to the hand with a strap, there is also a magnetic attachment that allows for easy ergonomic use giving 360 degrees of rotation and 180 degrees of flexion. A genius “clicking” feature, also allows the user to intuitively set and lock the intended position so they don't have to readjust it each time they use it. Finally, a built-in battery means you get up to 10+ applications once it's fully charged, which takes about 3 hours.
Speaking about the launch, Barbara Lavernos, Deputy CEO in charge of Research, Innovation and Technology at L’Oréal, tells WH 'inclusivity is at the heart of our innovation and beauty tech strategy. We are dedicated and passionate to bring new technologies powering beauty services that augment and reach every individual’s ultimate desires, expectations, and unmet needs.'
Ultimately, when it comes to applying your favourite lippie, HAPTA allows its users to create a precise lipstick look, which any self-confessed make-up lover will tell you, not only helps make you feel like a million dollars but also enables you to enjoy the self-expressive power of beauty.
While it's not available just, HAPTA will be piloted with L’Oréal-owned Lancôme later this year so watch this space.
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