Beauty salon develops first microchip manicure

Is this the future of contactless payments? Microchip glued onto your NAIL stores a digital business card to make networking easier – and its creator hopes to make it work for bank transfers

  • Lanour Beauty Lounge in Dubai has developed a smart manicure for customers
  • Founder Nour Makarem created the concept to support social distancing
  • She said the chip can be used as an alternative to carrying business cards
  • Similarly to credit cards, works by using Near Field Communication technology 
  • Nour demonstrated how scanning manicure with smartphone opens her website

A beauty salon has developed a microchip which can be embedded onto your fingernail and used as an alternative to paper business cards – with hopes of it being used in the future for contactless payment.

Nour Makarem, who is the founder of Lanour Beauty Lounge in Dubai, came up with the initiative after trying to think of an innovative way to use technology to support the beauty services when the pandemic first began. 

In an interview for CNN Middle East, Nour revealed the salon has the ability to upload any data that a customer wants to the microchip – including a digital business card, Instagram handle or WhatsApp details. 

Similarly to credit cards and Oyster cards, the chip works by using Near Field Communication technology to connect with mobile devices, and once the microchipped nail is tapped to a smart phone, the data is transferred in a matter of seconds. 

Despite currently only being able to store a small amount of information, Nour said she hopes to be able to expand it’s use in the future to include contactless payment and even restaurant menus.  

Nour Makarem, who is the founder of Lanour Beauty Lounge in Dubai, has created a microchip that can be placed on manicured nails (pictured)

Nour told CNN the beauty salon was inspired to create ‘smart nails’ (pictured) to support the industry when the pandemic began 

She also demonstrated how scanning her manicure with her smartphone opens her website within seconds.

Nour explained how it was quite challenging to create a microchip that was small enough to fit onto a fingernail, but said the gadget makes a great alternative to business cards – and could also benefit the environment due to a reduction in paper waste.  

‘We came up with this idea because we were thinking, how to support social distancing in beauty services using technology,’ she explained. ‘The only challenge was to make it small enough to fit the fingernail. 

‘We install the information that you want. Like your name, your mobile number, your social media accounts, websites as well.’   

‘I always forget my business cards, you will not forget your nail.’

Nour (pictured) revealed it was a challenge to make the microchip small enough to fit on a fingernail

Nour said the microchip (pictured) can be used to upload any information the customer requires – including social media platforms, websites and contact information 

Nour said people in Dubai like creative ideas and revealed that over 500 customers have happily had microchip manicures so far

Lanour Beauty Lounge, who boasts almost 4,000 Instagram followers, began promoting the ‘smart nail’ manicure service to their customers using the platform in December. 

A clip shows the small microchip being carefully placed on a fingernail by a manicurist before a layer of glitter nail polish is used to disguise the technology.  

The salon claims to have completed over 500 microchip manicures so far.  

The chip has to be placed between one to two centimetres from a smartphone to be activated.    

Nour added: ‘Dubai, it’s an innovative city. Usually the people they like the weird and creative ideas.  

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