Target Tests Manicures in Minutes

Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Retail giant Target has installed an automated machine in select stores that uses artificial intelligence and 3D technology to offer instant fingernail painting.

The technology, which is made from a company called Clockwork, has been installed in six Target stores so far: one in Minnesota, two in Northern California and three in Texas. The robot-enabled manicure or “Mini-Cure,” as Clockwork calls it, costs $10, or $8 for first-time customers. Appointments can be booked on Clockwork’s website under the designated Target tab.

The machine only applies a coat onto nails, it does not file or shape them like one would receive from a nail salon, though nail polish remover and files are provided on-site if needed. The entire fingernail painting process takes about 10 minutes.

According to a recent report by CNN, to use the service, customers place a finger in an indicated area and slide it into the machine, where two cameras take about 100 pictures of the nail. Clockwork CEO and founder Renuka Apte told CNN that those images are used to create a 3D point cloud showing the shape of the nail, and that data is used to figure out where the edges of your nail are located.

“This information is then used by algorithms that figure out things such as how (and how fast) the machine’s polish-dispensing pipette should move to apply paint to your nail,” according to the report.