California Patent of the Month – August 2022

Eyelash extensions have become increasingly popular in the last few years, allowing for a bold look with minimal daily effort on the wearer’s part. Wink Robotics (LUUM) has created a tool that simplifies the process for lash technicians, using computer vision and AI technology to automate the application of each eyelash extension and improve application safety. With an improved application process, the results are more consistent and the procedure is more comfortable.

A robotic mechanism reliably places eyelash extensions thanks to the need for precise and repetitive movements. The computer vision allows the system to “see” the client’s eyelashes on a microscale, ensuring any movement or reaction can be made in real time. This means if the client flinches or sneezes, there is no chance of accidental harm. The AI is also continually learning, taking cues from each client and improving the performance of the system as it goes. Their technology has recently been awarded a patent, moving the company towards their goals of commercialization. 

The patent includes safety features to ensure a client has only a good experience. One such feature is a set of shutters with a small opening that allows the client’s eyelashes to extend through. Sensors adjust the position of the shutters to match individual clients. A secure gripper can then use this opening to properly place the extension along the natural eyelash line while the shutters act as a barrier between the robotic arm and the client’s face. Due to the delicacy of the procedure, the robotic arm does not require much power, further protecting the client from any danger. 

While a cosmetic device, the system has been designed by engineers with expertise in medical devices and safety. The system itself not only offers safety features, it targets eyelash extension pain points including the lengthy, pricey, and uncomfortable appointments. The robotic system cuts the length of an appointment, for a full set of lashes, in half. With AI training, it should only further reduce time. This patent follows a successful seed funding round, where Ulta Beauty joined in backing the system. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

Recent Posts