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L'oréal's Hapta hands-on at CES 2023: It helps keep lipstick steady during application

L’Oreal’s HAPTA is based on tech from Alphabet-owned Verily that levels utensils and keeps them stable to help people with limited hand and arm mobility eat independently. The system has smart motion controls and customizable attachments to enable precise application with the help of 360 degrees of rotation and 180 degrees of flexion.

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Video transcript

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CHERLYNN LOW: Every CES L'Oreal has been known to come and show off some interesting new gadgets in the world of beauty tech. And this year is no different. Now with recent years, the focus seems to have been more on inclusion. For example, there was a year where they brought a custom foundation maker by scanning your skin tone. This time however, at CES 2023, the focus appears to be on accessibility. At the show this year, the company is showing off the Hapta lipstick applicator.

This is designed for people with physical motor disabilities with limited hand or arm movement. And they can use this to apply lipstick for themselves. And here's how it works.

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So to use L'Oreal's Hapta, you would first push a button on the lipstick case to get the lipstick itself to pop out. You need to do a little bit of learning to ensure it doesn't just fly out of its case. But then put the lipstick itself into the ring of the holder with the gimbal on it. And then use the grip, line up the dot on the white side of the grip with the golden circle button on the mount. And then wait to hear that chime before you can lift the lipstick.

And then you want to kind of aim it at your mouth. This is the part where for now, you still kind of need another hand for it to work and also some dexterity to twist the lipstick out of the case. You have to hold-- there you go. Thank you.

- Sure.

CHERLYNN LOW: And then you hold it to your mouth so it knows where it's pointing. And the motorized gimbal I want to say is figuring out how to keep it level. And while your arm might be dealing with movements that you can't control, or you don't have the finger dexterity to hold on to a smaller tube, this grip just makes it easier for you to put your lipstick onto your lips yourself.

So it appears part of the process will still require two-handed use. The person who is using this Hapta device is likely going to need some assistance. But L'Oreal did notice our struggling with it and said it would be possibly looking into how to improve that by the time the product is available.

At its demo, L'Oreal also had a robotic arm kind of demonstrating how to use the Hapta. Now the robot arm is just here at CES to show how a person with similar disabilities might have sort of as a range of motion and how they would use the device. There are still a ways to go before this product is available for purchase. It is going to be available at the end of the year around December for pricing between 1.49 or 1.99 US dollars.

For now, Hapta will work with most lipsticks of the standard size you see on store shelves unless they come in very fancy differently-sized tubes. But L'Oreal did also say it was working on different attachments that could accommodate different tube sizes as well. It is really nice to see accessibility being considered in beauty tech as well now. I mean, people with disabilities still apply makeup after all. For more news out of CES 2023 , though make sure you subscribe to Engadget.

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