Nimble Nails: Interview with Technological Engineer Omri Moran

Nimble is a new machine that paints and dries nails. An almost science-fiction invention, Nimble could revolutionize the beauty industry.

Nimble is a new machine that paints and dries nails. An almost science-fiction invention, Nimble could revolutionize the beauty industry. Scheduled to launch for pre-order on March 16, Nimble uses artificial intelligence to self-paint and dry nails in under 10 minutes per hand. Nimble was co-founded by technological entrepreneur Omri Mora who has enjoyed successful endeavors in both startup and public corporate leadership roles. He previously co-founded KitLocate, a cutting-edge mobile technology company, and is the former CEO of tech company Yandex Israel.

Nimble was founded in 2016 and has already earned $10 million in funding. The brand utilizes pioneering technology in the fields of AI and machine vision along with a series of complex algorithms which scan each individual fingertip to identify where the nail starts and ends. The device autonomously paints nails using the precise amount of polish for flawless, accurate manicures in a quarter of the time.  The product just launched on Kickstarter for the exclusive price of $229 and has already raised over $1 million in funding. Upon being available to the public, it will retail for $399.

Inventor and entrepreneur Omri Moran has experience working with both startups and public corporations. Omri co-founded KitLocate, cutting-edge mobile location monitoring system technology that does not drain phone battery. In 2016, he co-founded Nimble and recently discussed the invention via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get interested in inventing things and why did you gravitate towards the beauty industry?

Omri Moran (OM): I think it’s a combination of a couple of traits – I’m a very curious person so I find myself always diving into situations and trying to figure out why things happened and if it could have been avoided or done better. Growing up practicing sports, specifically swimming competitively – has made me a very competitive person in my everyday life and in business. When I see a challenge, I run towards it and not from it. I also think that I’m a pretty creative person, so sometimes I am able to see things in a way that others don’t see or see challenges others don’t recognize. I didn’t really have an intention to work specifically in the beauty industry, but I fell in love with the idea of solving a problem in the beauty space and so I was pulled into it and the rest is history.

MM: Why nails per se? Why was this area of beauty so interesting? How did you get the idea for the Nimble?

OM: It all started with a date. In 2016 I was waiting for my date to meet me for dinner. I waited and I waited and waited some more and was ready to give up. Finally, my date arrived, profusely apologetic for being late. The reason? Her manicure. She left her salon appointment before her manicure was completely dry resulting in ruined nails—so she had to run home to take off her brand new, smudged nail polish. Being the problem-solver that I am, a lightbulb went off for me that night. “What if there was an autonomous manicure device that could quickly paint and dry nails?” And so, the early concept for Nimble was born, a device that could hack the nail industry by providing efficient, accurate manicures in a quarter of the time it usually takes. By the way, that late date? She is now married to me and she’s Nimble’s biggest fan.

MM: How long did it take to design Nimble?

OM: We have been developing the technology behind Nimble for over 4.5 years.We began by trying to figure out if a human fingernail can be painted by a robot without any other limitation (such as size, cost, pace, and more) and then once we figured out it could be done, we added all the limitations relating to a customer product to be used at home. The process has been extremely hard, but very rewarding.

MM: How different did the prototype look from the finished product?

OM: Different worlds. Our first prototype was big, bulky, ugly, wasn’t comfortable (ergonomically) was made of super expensive parts and more, but it was able to paint a human fingernail. We had this prototype up and running within roughly 6 months. We then spend over 4 years going from there to the actual product.

MM: Why did you decide to fund this via Kickstarter?

OM: It’s more about the engagement with the community rather than funding. We see Kickstarter as a platform that enables early engagement with our customers community. We believe the community should have a voice and we want to hear it. At the end of the day, we want to provide the best possible experience and most value to our customers and in such an innovative product, there are a lot of directions our innovations pipeline can go. The right approach in our view is to let the community guide us and that seems to work very well – we already gather a lot of very valuable insights.

NimbleMM: What’s the best fan feedback you’ve gotten about the Nimble so far?

OM: We constantly get compared to scenes from 5th element. People also constantly say it is something from the TV show, “Meet the Jetsons”. Someone wrote “Omg, did I die and reborn at 2045?” And, from the heartwarming side, many respond that due to some illness / disability, going to the nail salon is very challenging for them, so the fact they can get similar quality at their home is a great benefit for them and is very heartwarming for us to hear.

MM: How do you hope your career–and the Nimble–evolves over the next five years?

OM: My goal is to have a Nimble device in every home on the planet. It might take longer than 5!

MM: Are you working on anything else right now and is there anything else that you would like to mention?

OM: No, my team and I are fully dedicated to Nimble and we love it!