Lancôme's HAPTA Device Is A Huge Win For Disability Inclusion In The Beauty World

According to the CDC, 61 million adults in the United States have a disability. Despite this, The New York Times explains that the beauty industry has been slow in introducing inclusive products to disabled consumers. In fact, a 2019 study from Procter & Gamble noted that only 4% of beauty brands catered to individuals with disabilities. However, things are changing for the better. A 2021 article from Vogue Business reported that companies like L'Oréal were trying to offer inclusivity. This included hiring disabled employees and creating an accessible website. In January 2023, Lancôme, which L'Oréal owns, unveiled their revolutionary HAPTA device (via InStyle).

MiNDFOOD states that a demonstration of the device occurred at CES, a technology event from the Consumer Technology Association. The company announced the news in a series of Instagram posts. The first post read, "As part of Lancôme's mission to make beauty accessible for all, we are proud to reveal our new beauty tech prototype HAPTA at @ces 2023– a new assistive tool to help makeup become more autonomous." Likewise, another post described the HAPTA device as "our 1st AI-powered motion-stabilizing beauty device that works with every move you make."

This is how the HAPTA device works

An Instagram post from Lancôme notes that the HAPTA device is "a handheld, ultra-precise smart makeup applicator for users with limited hand and arm mobility, offering them the ability to steadily apply lipstick at home." Per Cosmopolitan, the device can also be used to apply mascara. MiNDFOOD reports that the product's release date and price are currently unknown. So how does it work? According to a press release from Lancôme, the HAPTA device was partially innovated by Verily. It is powered with technology Verily created to stabilize eating utensils for individuals with disabilities.

Cosmopolitan adds that the HAPTA device is only 115 grams or 4 ounces, making it airy enough for anyone to hold without difficulty. The press release further explains that the device has a magnetic attachment and can rotate 360 degrees, and can bend 180 degrees. Moreover, a click feature ensures that the HAPTA device will not change position unless the user desires it. Like most electronics on the market, the HAPTA device needs to be charged.

Lancôme promises to make beauty more inclusive

Per L'Oréal, the company hopes that its HAPTA device will fundamentally transform the beauty industry for everyone, including people with disabilities. Barbara Lavernos, Deputy CEO at L'Oréal, stated, "Inclusivity is at the heart of our innovation and beauty tech strategy." She added, "We are dedicated and passionate to bring new technologies powering beauty services that augment and reach every individual's ultimate desires, expectations, and unmet needs."

Meanwhile, Françoise Lehmann, Lancôme's Global Brand President, explained (via L'Oréal), "With HAPTA we are going one step further by making beauty more accessible to use, because everyone should have equal access to it." However, LOréal and Lancôme are not the only players in the beauty industry making beauty inclusive.

Guide Beauty created a flexible eyeliner wand that is soft to the touch and has round edges. Actress Selma Blair is the brand's Chief Creative Officer. Blair, per Variety, has multiple sclerosis and is disabled. Selena Gomez's Rare Beauty line also received praise for its inclusive packaging, designed for people with arthritis (via Glamour). Yahoo notes that Gomez has lupus, which can cause arthritis.