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Management Practices

Technology on the Horizon--How Will it Impact Your Salon?

Stacey Soble | July 2, 2015 | 10:54 AM
In the near future, salon owners may send driverless cars to pick up clients who have transportation or parking issues.

In the July 2015, Salon Today is taking a close look at how some of the latest technologies--Apple Watches, selfie stations, and deskless reception areas--are shaping salon business and the client experience. To be prepared for the future though, salon owners should also have their finger on the pulse of developing technologies assessing how they may shape the future. With his talk "Digital Disruptions," Sasha Kadey, vice president of digital marketing for Luxury Brand Partners, is enlighting salon owners at the company's series of educational business excursions about three technology trends on the horizon.

Driverless Cars

While the notion of a driverless car delivering packages or passengers seems like the distant future, it’s closer than most people think, according to Sasha Kadey, vice president of digital marketing for Luxury Brand Partners, who has been giving the presentation Digital Disruptions to attendees of LBP’s business education events.

“More than 4 states have passed laws allowing driverless cars to be tested on public roads and a number of companies are racing to get this technology to market, including Google, Uber, Apple, Mercedes Benz and Tesla.”

Kadey believes one of the first business applications of this technology will be with commercial taxi & limo services. “This could have an interesting impact on salons,” he says. “I know of several salons who experience great foot traffic because they are in a downtown location, but parking can be a challenge for clients. Imagine sending a driverless car to pick up your client, who might even be greeted with a refreshing beverage and an assortment of reading materials when he or she gets in the car. Not only could this resolve parking issues, it could also help get clients into the salon who can’t drive because of disabilities.” 

Personal Care Robots

Since the age of The Jetsons, we’ve been promised domestic robots that can boost us out of bed, brush our teeth and put our clothes on, but it’s never really materialized. Most robotic developments have focused on the areas of shipping and receiving and assembly line automation, particularly in the automotive industry.

“We’re starting to see evidence that some countries like Japan, which has a so-called super-aging problem, are focusing on personal care robots,” says Sasha Kadey. “It’s the world’s third largest economy, and with 44 percent of its population over 65, in 2014 more adult diapers were sold in Japan than baby diapers.”

Panasonic's hair-washing robot has 18 robotic fingers that massage the scalp.

How does that translate to the salon and spa world? “Panasonic is testing a hair-washing robot that has 18 robotic fingers that massage the scalp. The robot can be calibrated to the shape and size of an individual’s head, store that calibration for future visits, and even pre-lather shampoo and conditioner inside of its water jets to save product.”

Medical Sensors

One of the most fascinating applications of technology today is in the field of health and wellness. Companies, like MC10, are developing ultra-thin, skin-mounted medical sensors that provide real-time personalized biofeedback.

A stretchable, cosmetic sticker like this one from MC10 can alert consumers through their phone when it's time to reapply sunscreen .

“For example, MC10 and Reebok have partnered to develop a mesh cap lined with sensors that athletes of high-impact sports wear under theirs helmets,” says Sasha Kadey. “Lights on the helmet warn coaches if an athlete is in danger of a concussion or other health issues.”

The same company already has developed stretchable, non-invasive skin-friendly cosmetic stickers that give consumers control of their beauty regimen. The stickers can alert consumers through their phone when it’s time to reapply sunscreen or measure the skin’s properties during a sleep cycle to recommend the perfect moisturizer.

“Think of the applications for the salon or medi-spa, as we have the ability to measure the health of hair follicles, provide a custom skincare regiment for your face every night, or determine how certain spa services reduce stress levels,” says Kadey.

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