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Skin printer wipes years from your face [video] (www.bbc.co.uk)
306 points by hanoz 5 months ago | hide | past | web | 129 comments | favorite

This is one of those clever ideas that seems obvious once someone else has had it. Nice.

(It's also how they're going to get men used to the idea of wearing makeup, thus doubling the market for cosmetics, isn't it?)

> (It's also how they're going to get men used to the idea of wearing makeup, thus doubling the market for cosmetics, isn't it?)

I know this is anecdata but I have several female friends who do not care for make up, except for possibly when going out to a fancy dinner or the likes. They don’t like the tedium of putting it on and wiping it off every day, so they just don’t. Some of them do semi permanent things like getting fake eyelashes and such, and just redo it every 4 weeks or whatever it may be. I reckon this type of device would probably have some appeal to that market as well.

I think it’s a really cool device, and if it works as well as advertised in the (low resolution as it may be) video then I’d probably be one of those men who is in the market for One of these. I have decent skin but a few spots I wouldn’t mind to “get rid off” but can’t be bothered with make up.

> I reckon this type of device would probably have some appeal to that market as well.

Why? This is even more tedious than putting on normal makeup.

This appeals to people who want to look better but don't want to appear to wear makeup.

How does this appear more tedious? Unlike normal makeup, it seems to involve much less precision from the user. I imagine you could probably use it on the go, without standing in front of a mirror.

This is just concealer which is very easy to apply. Women do much more than this like mascara, blushers etc which actually require precision to apply.

It's quite a bit more sophisticated than that. Their website says the device actually mixes three different colored pigments to customize it to your face and it applies anti-aging serum at the same time. That's pretty cool. The microprinting technology is from Funai, a Japanese electronics company: https://www.i4u.com/2019/01/130609/ces-2019-funaismicrofluid...

> This appeals to people who want to look better but don't want to appear to wear makeup.

I think the idea of a CORRECT make up is that you don’t really see it.

Do you by any chance happen to live in the SF Bay Area?

No, I live in Europe.

How is that relevant?

Different areas, different customs.

This is a melee version of Homer's make-up gun.

The makeup industry wants to get into the high margin inkjet cartridge business.

I can't wait until I can't apply my makeup because my cartridge is missing cyan.

Same one but using a linux open source driver with my wife yelling "fix the damn printer!" before we go out to VR opera

There's no open source driver, you have to make a login for the P&G website, go deep into the driver section for a somewhat related printer from 5 years ago before the linux guy quit, download the rpm, use alien to convert it to deb, install it, realize CUPS is printing a bunch of garbled ASCII because it's not matching the printer to the driver, extract the rpm, modify the .inf file to say Opte-C4550 instead of Opte-B1750, and reload the file in CUPS, print the test pattern, wash your face, print again.

Now you're ready to be beautiful and face the world.

warning - not using certified Rayvlon makeup cartridges can mean you will be prematurely aged in the middle of a meeting like bad science fiction/horror genre mashups!

You made my day lol

Fifth Element totally had this idea more than 20 years ago.

The Jetsons had this idea more than 50 years ago. :)

Just think how cool this device could be the hands of pro special effects people who make movies like Fifth Element.

Edit: also, cosplay outfits.. man, I really want to see that thing in the hands of artists!

I'm a guy and I think it sounds great! Guys have red and dark spots or patchy areas, too, but we don't want pancake makeup covering our face and we don't have time to goof around in the bathroom for hours.

BTW, the product is already available in Hong Kong where it's co-branded with SK-II, another P&G brand:


Not to be critical, but I'm sure most women wouldn't mind being freed from the obligation of having to "goof around for hours" in the bathroom every morning too!

“goof around”?

This seems to be for old men. Women of all ages use makeup to change the way they look. Concealing skin blemishes is just one part of it.

As a man I'd never do this. Just imagine you forget to recharge the thing or run out of "ink" so suddenly you have to turn up to work looking 10 years older. It's easier just to accept your age.

  This seems to be for old men.
I think the video shows it being applied to an old man because the BBC technology correspondent covering CES happens to be an old man.

The display in the back of the CES booth shows a pretty woman as do the product marketing videos [1]

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7qzb8ptH3U

scenario forgetting to recharge:

damn, black-tea you look like sh*t!!

oh yeah, I had a hard night of it, went out drinking with some old friends didn't get in until 5 this morning. slept 2 hours, have a bit of a migraine.

whoa, that black-tea is a king among men!!

It's a pretty cool device. The title would be even cooler if it'd say "make-up printer" because it's a bit clickbaity.

It's marketing: the average guy won't buy a "make-up printer", but a "skin printer" sounds much more palatable.

But then we wouldn't have had Buffalo Bill and the Silence of the Lambs would have just been some geek in a basement printing skin.


I wouldn’t call it palatable, though, as intended use is on severe wounds. That doesn’t make for pretty videos, even on fake wounds (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q8DnF0tF7D0, https://school.wakehealth.edu/Research/Institutes-and-Center...)

"skin printer" sounds like they are printing new skin

(that's what I thought when I first read the title)

Indeed, half of me was expecting Star Trek:Insurrection-like madness.

Yeah, they call it an "inkjet printer" because it prints ink, not a "paper printer" because it prints onto paper.

Technically, it doesn’t print “inkjets” either.

I had a horrible misparse of the title and thought it was about a brand of "printer wipes" called Skin, then wondered what years and faces had to do with it... it made me click for sure.

I thought it was printing disembodied skin.

Woot! We'll be able to work past age 35 in tech!

Unfortunately it doesn't print away jowls and wrinkles. Although I expect it could via trompe l'oeil for one particular angle.

It also doesn't restore your patience for corporate BS.

About to turn 48 and still going strong! No need to send the Sandmen after me yet, really!

Enter the Carousel. This is the time of renewal. Be strong and you will be renewed. Identify.

Botox and dermafillers

One of the things I think is really cool about this is how it automatically matches your skin tone. There are endless YouTube beauty videos about the difficulty of matching foundation colors to skin tones, and in the past few years brands with a very wide foundation range have gotten a lot of good press, especially the ones that have (finally) developed a much broader shade range for people of color. Seems like this could have a lot of applications beyond just covering age spots.

Matching your own natural tan is one use I'm sure will be popular given the large tan in a can industry. Maybe aftermarket addons like Mehndi designs to spray on, or matching lipstick shades to photos.

I'm a man and have been wearing make up for years to cover acne, and it makes me feel good. Maybe this will help push passed the whole "makeup is only for women" thing and allow more men to feel good too.

My apologies if this comes off as insensitive, I really mean no disrespect, but doesn’t the make up aggrevate your acne?

Not insensitive at all!

I had worried that, but I've been wearing it for years and have noticed no difference. My acne is actually alot better now, but I put that up to maturity, not the makeup. I think it probably depends on your skin type etc. But I tried all sorts, short of roaccutane, to get my acne sorted and nothing worked. I figured I may as well just hide it until it disappears on its own.

I used to wear a lot, when I first started, now I just use a lightish covering, no one can tell, and even when they did, I couldn't care less. The confidence boost I got from not having a rank face was amazing. I'm sure someone would say that's not the healthy way of dealing with this sort of psychological stuff, but it worked for me.

Intriguing anecdote: my sister had a similar square off with acne for many years. She thought it would be life long (roccutane did nothing for her). Then recently, she did a barrage of allergy testing. It turns out she was highly allergic to pretty much everything she ate (onions, lettuce, other shocking things like this). She’s removed the culprits and seen an incredible transformation — still scarred a bit, but so much more confident.

I hope this helps someone else.

I still get acne from time to time (I think mostly due to my love for chocolate). However, when I get regular sun exposure, it completely clears up. If you don't get much sun, try it...nothing else worked for me :)

I thought the chocolate-acne link was an old wives tale?

It's not chocolate, it's sugar. Or anything with a high glycemic load.

Why don't you give roaccutane a go? It did miracles for me.

It’s effective but it has side effects almost as bad as chemo therapy. It can mess up your liver and other organs. It can also cause depression and suicide since it crosses the blood brain barrier.

Yupp. I already have/had depression. It would worry me taking it.

I'd love to see what it does with my face: https://avatars1.githubusercontent.com/u/250420?s=800&v=4

I wonder if you can calibrate it with sample co-ordinates, like the clone tool in Photoshop. Then it prints from that area onto the target area.

burn scar?

Yes, it is a port wine stain birthmark.

I have to admit I was hoping for some application of custom-printed skin cells[1] but this is pretty cool as well, and placed in an area of the market that is constantly looking for innovation.

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170123090630.h...

I hope they have anti-bacterial wipes at the conference. I'd hate for them to be spreading skin conditions, like the thing that happened with the Occulus Rift: https://hothardware.com/news/vr-headsets-public-demos-blamed...

The (billion) dollar question: does it remove dark spots under the eyes?

No. According to their website, you can't use it under your eyes.

Meanwhile, these guys are building a real 'skin printer' https://www.renovacareinc.com/technology/

more like makeup printer. wake me up when we can fix age spots and other broken cells and imperfections.

They can, but it requires laser surgery, skin resurfacing or chemical peels. There are a lot of solutions in the plastic surgery field.

Age spots can be somewhat corrected with a skin bleacher. A dermatologist can help with that

she mentions in the video it has anti-aging ingredients in the "print/makeup". I don't know how real those ingredients are, but pretty damn cool if it works.

It's neat but nothing you can't do yourself with a bit of foundation and a few brush of different sizes.

The main benefit would be speed, but once you are used to applying makeup you can get your morning face done in about five minutes.

That's one of those product that will really depend on the price point.

> once you are used to applying makeup

Dropbox doesn't do anything I can't do with ftp and rsync.

I could see this being much, much more widely adopted by men than a "couple of shades of foundation and a few makeup brushes" ever would.

Good point. Something I had not considered either is people with loss of motions.

A big part of the problem with doing it manually is the (perhaps irrational) fear that people will notice you're wearing makeup... What I find appealing about this device is that it can probably apply it in a very consistent way, day after day, that could be subtle enough to be completely undetectable.

It was mentioned in passing, but I think one of the selling points is you're putting on significantly less

As with paint vs. printer ink, I'd expect it to cost many times more per unit, though.

> That's one of those product that will really depend on the price point.

Probably, and the price over time as well what with ink cartridges and stuff. I have one of those old timey shaving kits with replaceable single blades, but I still ended up getting a Braun 9 series electric shaver. Sure, the manual razor gives you a real close clean shave, but it’s just not worth the hassle to deal with the brush and the soap and the blades and the hot water and the what not – the Braun does a perfectly fine job before I’m even done with prep work otherwise. Even though it was more expensive, the time it saves me is non negligible. I can imagine customers of this device making that very same consideration.

I think the real benefit might be considering the price difference.

Do you go for this or still commit to eternally buying makeup

> Do you go for this or still commit to eternally buying makeup

And trade your soul to the ink cartridge gods instead?

Would it be possible to make a device with a rotatable head, that you affix to your mirror, you stand still and it uses a camera, 3-axis servo, and pump to shoot makeup at 90 mph like the needle-less vaccine injectors?

Is makeup usually too soft/powdery to be shot from a distance accurately?

Seems like it would be a lot faster than this device, albeit clunkier and more expensive. Essentially you would just stand in front of your mirror and hit a button.

On a sidenote, checkout Prinker, a temporary tattoo printer - might use similar tech as the makeup printer:


Sadly, that Prinker tattoo printer is probably a fake product.

I'll never understand the urge to look younger using tricks: it will not reflect your actual health this way. Makes a lot more sense to try to look younger because of life choices that make you biologically fitter, like good nutrition, sport, sleep, ...

It's because using tricks is one way to look younger.

This reminds me of that shake on hair in a can they advertise on TV.

Can it apply eyeshadow, and reach difficult corners like around the nose and eyes?

Also curious: could it be used to copy one face onto another face, when viewed from a certain angle?

So will it be super cheap to buy but replacement toner will cost a fortune?

Wonder if you could get different colours and have a in-situ printable tattoo system.

Reminds me of the automatic graffiti tools they have in The Expanse (show). Just upload a graphic, start dragging the gadget around on a wall, and it paints the image for you.

The EBS-260 handheld inkjet printer already kind of does this: https://youtu.be/Va3A7QcBlLE

Built for industrial use, but don’t see why it couldn’t be used for basic tagging. I’m not affiliated in any way. Just stumbled upon it the other day and thought it was neat.

Neat, thanks for the link. IIRC the one in the show was used to paint an arbitrary large image, just "scrubbing" over any yet-unpainted sections, at any angle. Seems possible with real-world tech.

(adds to list of "things I should think about trying to make someday")

If I ever do though it will use water-based paint.

Strange that the guy wipes it off in the end. If I just had years erased from my face I probably wouldn't be so quick to put them back.

Director: Wow, you look great, that's quite a transformation. You know what would be great, we finish with a before and after close up. Here, take this wet wipe.

Presenter: Awww, really?

He wanted to show how little product was actually applied to the skin.

Wow. Photoshop IRL! This is cool tech. Very nice application of technologies to a problem domain.

Off topic but does anyone know what works for dark circles under eyes?

My thought exactly, I have the most ridiculous bags under my eyes, that are always there (even when not drinking coffee, sleeping well, etc.)

I'd pay good money for something that removes them without hassle...

Have you tried Vitamin C serum?

Am I the only one that had trouble seeing much difference before and after? I guess I could see that some lines had faded, but I really didn't think he looked any "younger".

I didn't see faded lines but sun spots and pigmentation blotches disappeared. almost magic.

I felt the same during the video but the side by side comparison right at the end makes the difference much clearer.

That's what I was waiting for, but I was totally underwhelmed! Maybe it's just expectations vs reality.

Makeup printer papers over years from your face.

Or just do it once with laser treatment, which is more invasive but you don't have to do it daily.

That's a perfect advertisement there being done by the BBC...

What did you expect them to do? If the product really works the reporter can't just say "uh I can't really see it".

Look at the style, the prepared questions, the orchestration.


"120 thermal inket printers"


There are thermal inkjets, different from thermal printers or piezo-inkjets. They work by electrically heating a small wire to create a steam bubble, which pushes the ink out. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inkjet_printing#Thermal_DOD

On the bright side, it hides the burns pretty much immediately.

This seems like a concealer applicator. The results look similar to what someone could achieve today using some concealer from the drugstore.

Right, but if priced appropriately this could really penetrate the men's market more than foundation or concealer ever could.

The difference is that it mixes three different color pigments in real time based on what the camera sees. You'd have to be a professional makeup artist to do that. The poster below you is right -- this is a big deal for men! ('Cause we ain't doin' all that.)

I wonder if that's why both of the CES demos show guys.

First she says "its printing on your skin" then she is saying that it "removes spots", well which one is it?

If I have red wall and paint black over it I will not say I removed red paint.

"bursts blood vessels"? is this ... healthy? Temporary but makes things worse in the long run?

The quote from the article is: ...applies tiny amounts of make-up to remove age spots, burst blood vessels and other blemishes.

That "remove" action applies to every item in the list:

- remove age spots

- remove burst blood vessels

- remove other blemishes


Completely off-topic, but I frequently see this type of word correction formatting online but have no idea where it's from.

Is this a type of emacs/vim find & replace shortcut, or is it just something that people have picked up on the internet and run with?

Yes, it is used in vim and sed (and probably more). s is for "substitute". g means global, substitute each occurrence, not just the first.

Thanks! I've been scratching my head on that one for a while.

I think it's slightly ambiguous wording "burst blood vessels", where "burst" is an adjective, not a verb. So burst blood vessels are something it covers up, along with age spots and other blemishes.

It's technically a past participle I think (similar to how "wrapped" functions in "wrapped sandwich"). The ambiguity in this case stems from the fact that the present tense verb is also "burst" and the sentence structure makes it easy to be misinterpreted.

It's just surface level makeup.

They detect blemishes and apply a bit of makeup to hide it. I don't know what "anti-aging ingredients" they include, but presumably nothing different than off-the-shelf makeup products.

It mixes three colored pigments in real time to match your skin, something that would be impossible unless you're a makeup pro. The Hong Kong website (where it's already available) says the serum is from SK-II, another P&G brand.

It doesn't burst blood vessels, it covers them up!

They mean if you have burst blood vessels, the makeup printer will cover them up.

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