LAS VEGAS — The hottest trend at CES is not rollable TVs or self-driving cars. It's devices that can print anything you want on your fingernails. I ran across three different companies releasing these gadgets, which will revolutionize the manicure industry.
All three of these products work the same way: You upload a photo to an app (or use one of the preinstalled patterns or images), stick your finger inside the machine, and about 30 seconds later, the device prints the image on your nail. Never fear: They all use an ink that you can take off using ordinary nail polish remover.
Similar to getting your nails done at a salon — which, I admit, I have never done — you have to first put on a base coat that will help the ink adhere. After the printing process, you then have to apply a clear coat to protect the finish.
The first company I met with was O'2 Nails. Its $499 machine is actually the company's second-generation nail printer, and has a smaller footprint than the others. The device can draw power via USB, making it relatively portable. I had the device print a photo of my daughter on my left ring finger. It's pretty adorable.
Anjou, the next company I met with, has a $699 laser nail printer. It has a touchscreen on the top of the device that lets you select the image you want to print on your nail. (You also have the option of using an app). I had the device print my cat's face on my right pointer finger. He was rendered in all his furry glory.
Funai, the company that partners with Philips, was the last company I met with. It has yet to set a price for its fingernail printer, but estimates that it will cost around $500 when it comes out later this year. The company also plans to release several different versions of the device, including one for kids. I used Funai's device to print a photo of my other cat on my left index finger. Here too, I was pleasantly surprised by the clarity of the finished image.
How do they look? I'm glad you asked:
Yes, custom-printed fingernails are definitely frivolous, but I was still tickled by what they could do. I just wish I'd found seven more nail printers for the rest of my fingers.