Printers put photos on your fingernails

Oakland stylist Patricia Davis says, "When they put their hands in the machine, it' like, 'What is this? Cool!' When they pull their hand out, it's like, 'Wow! I didn't think I did not think that that image would get on my nail.'"

Nail printers are all the rage in Asia, but haven't caught on as quickly in the US. Imaginail, the inventor of the process and sole American manufacturer, hopes to change that with a new model introduced a few months ago.

One of the earliest models ever was bought by Pat Davis of First Impression Hair Design in Oakland, an entrepreneur with a reputation for spotting trends.

"I'm one of those people, as my clients will tell you, 'There goes Pat, thinking of something new, finding something new.'"

Here's how it works. First, you select from a thousand images in a catalog. You even can bring in your own photographs of pets, kids, whatever. After customizing a background color, Pat drags-and-drops the picture onto an image of your hand. A special base coat is brushed on to make your nails glow in the dark, so that the printer can isolate them. The high tech software was developed by ex-Soviet rocket scientists. Seriously.

And the whole process takes less than 30 seconds. We watch Jessica Telfor of San Francisco getting musical g-clefs put onto her nails.

"You don't feel anything at all," she told us. "If you're relaxed and calm, you're just going to feel air."

Both women acknowledge this is no match for hand airbrushing. But with a stencil, you can't paint a photograph. And it's much more expensive.

"It's quicker, it dries quicker, and I can just get up and leave."

And now, a Japanese researcher has begun using a laser printer to etch computer files onto nails. Why bother with a USB thumb drive, when you can carry your documents on your thumb?

If that isn't high-tech enough for you, I no longer need Wi-Fi to stay on top of the weather. I had the 5-day forecast printed right on the tip of my fingers.

With the next step in fashion, Richard Hart, ABC7 News.

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NailJetPro - Nail Fashion Printer

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