The makers of a new manicure machine, Clockwork, say they “design robots that liberate people from everyday mundane tasks.”
They have decided to go out the gate with a nail polish robot. They answer the question of "Why nails?" on their website:
“For many of us, it’s a weekly task to check off the list. Most people spend 60 minutes per week on their nails. That’s 3,120 minutes a year! But if we can cut that down to just 10 minutes—what would you do with those extra moments?”
The things this machine “liberates” people from, according to its makers, includes “slip ups, slow down, small talk.”
While automating labor isn’t anything new, we obviously take issue with the choice of “mundane” to describe the pleasure of a nail appointment. The small talk and the slow down—they’re precisely the point of a one-on-one personal service.
That 60-minutes at the manicure table can feel like the equivalent of a long-weekend for some clients.
And while the robot-performed service is described as pandemic friendly, we question if the rest of the customer’s day will be spent inside a hermetically sealed bubble. Likely, they will take their newly polished nails and walk into any number of social situations where they are around many more people than one nail technician.
Ultimately, we agree with the Mahatma when he said, “There’s more to life than increasing its speed.” –Mahatma Ghandi
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