Is it just us, or is everything “smart” lately? The push for AI has extended to all things, starting with email, moving on to IG, and going well beyond that. It has even extended to hair tools. Yes, a blow dryer can be “smart” now too. Home appliances are smart, all of our data is everywhere, and whatever goes in our hands is optimized. So, of course, we’re not surprised that smart haircare has entered the picture. We’re excited for haircare to become more intelligent. But first, we want to know what that actually means. To help us define “smart” when it comes to our hot tools, we reached out to Alex Ruan, general manager for Tineco Intelligent, a premium smart appliance brand under the Ecovacs Robotics Group.
What Makes a Blow Dryer Smart?
“For Tineco, a smart dryer means simplicity of use,” explains Alex. “Instead of manual adjustments, a smart dryer senses the moisture and temperature of the user’s hair and adjusts its heat and airflow to ensure fast drying while protecting hair and eliminating frizz at the tip. In addition, a smart dryer can customize hair drying and styling, regardless of hair type. Furthermore, a smart dryer should also make hair healthier through continual use. Finally, for a hairdryer to be smart, its operations should be extremely simple and straightforward, requiring minimal effort from the user.”
Basically, the blow dryer is wising up so we can dumb down. If that means a better result each time, we’re totally fine with it. “Tineco’s MODA ONE hairdryer is truly smart, featuring several smart sensors for real-time detection and computing of moisture, temperature, and distance,” Alex explains. “It automatically adjusts its temperature and volume of airflow according to the hair’s real-time moisture level. In this way, the user’s hair can dry very fast without having any damage caused by overheating. Even better, the MODA ONE hairdryer automatically emits millions of negative ions at prime time to lock moisture in the hair, making hair shiny and healthy. In addition, there’s an iLoop™ ring on the back of the hairdryer, which changes from red to blue to indicate different modes. A red ring indicates drying mode, with a high working temperature and a large volume of airflow. A blue ring indicates hair-caring mode, under which the working temperature lowers, and a high density of negative ions flows to protect the hair.”
How Does a Smart Blow Dryer Differ From a Regular One?
Though it seems like it’s all about user experience, we wanted to know how exactly how a smart dryer differs from a regular one. “With traditional dryers, a user must manually adjust the heat and move the dryer closer or further away from the head to ensure the right temperature and airflow. Tineco’s smart dryer is different because the iLoop™ sensor takes all the guesswork out. As a result, a user can put the hairdryer at any distance to their head, and it will ensure the proper temperature and airflow for fast drying and hair protection,” Alex says.
Again, you know you’re dealing with a smart dryer if you can be a little less smart and your guesswork is replaced with a real solution. “With a smart dryer, you don’t need to do anything other than turn on the dryer and point it to your hair. The smart dryer will do the rest,” Alex reiterates.
But How Does a Smart Dryer Optimize Itself?
Because the smart dryer needs to adapt and learn your hair to work best, we were curious about optimization and who the dryer is best for. Is there any hair type it can’t learn? Alex was quick to reassure us that this thing really is smart, like Harvard smart. “We tested MODA ONE on various hair types, so our Auto Mode (for adults) is ideal for virtually every person, no matter how unique their hair is. The team created additional modes for children and pets to balance the need for quick drying with moderate noise and temperature for sensitive ears and sentiments. We continuously gather consumer feedback to further optimize our sensor algorithm for an even better drying experience.”
A conversation about machine learning (even if the machine is your blow dryer) wouldn’t feel complete without a future prediction. Is tomorrow’s haircare just us pushing a button and having gorgeous hair minus the work? If so, we envy our grandchildren. According to Alex (and every sci-fi film, so prepare, people), it’s all about machines integrating with us. We’re about to blur the line between human, AI, and machine, but first, baby steps. “We envision the evolution of a hardware-centric device to a consumer-centric device, meaning that the dryer senses the user. Through consumer research and testing, these smart dryers will be even more customizable for consumers who want a product that is easy to use and styles their hair the way they want it.” And when the outcome is beautiful hair, we’ll consider ourselves mane futurists.