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Cambridge Consultants rolls lubricant and shaver into one gadget

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The all-in-one roller-shaver for women
The all-in-one roller-shaver for women

Cambridge Consultants has been thinking outside the box again – this time coming up with a shaver/roller combination which automatically applies lubrication as you shave.

The Science Park company initiated the product to illustrate the potential of technology in the beauty tech sector.

Two of those involved in the project – which was not made for a specific client, so is available to interested parties – are Ruth Thomson, SVP global consumer business, and Andrew Stratton, principal engineer.

“Beauty tech is going to grow a lot,” says Ruth, “using technologies that allow you to personalise the beauty experience.”

The combination of a lubricant and a razor on one unit seems so obvious it begs the question why it hasn’t been done before?

“The fluid problems for this look simple but are hard to get right,” says Ruth. “For instance, you don’t want it to leak at certain temperatures, or get all gunked up.

“It looks simple but if it leaks on a plane, that’s an annoyance, and that hurts brands.”

“You need to have confidence in the underlying physics,” adds Andrew, a physicist by training. “That means microfluidic behaviour – and that’s the expertise we have.”

There are two conventional ways to deliver lubrication to the skin ahead of the blade or blades: foam or oil.

The prototype Cambridge Consultants has come up with uses moisturizing shaving oil which is automatically applied to the users’ skin by the roller applicator. Novel microfluidic features within the reservoir channel oil to the roller, irrespective of its orientation. The reservoir contains 10ml of oil, and is fed through the head of the razor to the roller.

Cambridge Consultants offers an improved shaving experience for women
Cambridge Consultants offers an improved shaving experience for women

The foam alternative would be achievable, says the technology innovation specialist, but would probably have to involve compressed gas – a technical challenge in a small product.

“Foam would need work to do,” says Ruth, adding: “Getting the oil to be consistent is hard, and to get it not to leak is important.”

The product also makes the decision about how much lubricant to use for you. Combination products that package foam or gel within the razor suffer from a poor user experience, because they require the user to guess the correct amount needed for a shave and thus increase the chance for user error, causing frustration and extra expense.

But there’s another obvious question about this product – why not offer it to men?

“This product is designed for shaving while in the shower,” says Ruth. “There’s usually a larger surface area for women to shave, but it could apply to men.”

Fluidic work has gone on for decades, and was accelerated by the inkjet, then by inhalers, and the lessons learned were used in different ways, such as the foamy cream you get on top of a barista coffee. As well as personal care and beauty, there are also applications in agriculture.

“In agriculture there’s a need for a precision dispenser to control for instance the amount of a pesticide introduced for a crop,” says Ruth. “With a loom fertiliser, as they turn corners, you need to make sure there’s even coverage on the ground.”

Expect the all-in-one roll-on/shave-off experience to be on every Christmas present wishlist!

Ruth Thomson, SVP global consumer business, Cambridge Consultants
Ruth Thomson, SVP global consumer business, Cambridge Consultants
Andrew Stratton, principal engineer, Cambridge Consultants
Andrew Stratton, principal engineer, Cambridge Consultants

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