WO2011024160A1 - A method and apparatus for providing hair dyeing composition - Google Patents

A method and apparatus for providing hair dyeing composition Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2011024160A1
WO2011024160A1 PCT/IL2010/000684 IL2010000684W WO2011024160A1 WO 2011024160 A1 WO2011024160 A1 WO 2011024160A1 IL 2010000684 W IL2010000684 W IL 2010000684W WO 2011024160 A1 WO2011024160 A1 WO 2011024160A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
hair
user
capable
apparatus
formulation
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IL2010/000684
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Ofer Levi
Original Assignee
Ofer Levi
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US23619409P priority Critical
Priority to US61/236,194 priority
Application filed by Ofer Levi filed Critical Ofer Levi
Publication of WO2011024160A1 publication Critical patent/WO2011024160A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/0059Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons using light, e.g. diagnosis by transillumination, diascopy, fluorescence
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45DHAIRDRESSING OR SHAVING EQUIPMENT; MANICURING OR OTHER COSMETIC TREATMENT
    • A45D44/00Other toilet or cosmetic equipment, e.g. for hairdressers' rooms
    • A45D44/005Other toilet or cosmetic equipment, e.g. for hairdressers' rooms for selecting or displaying personal cosmetic colours or hairstyle
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/0059Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons using light, e.g. diagnosis by transillumination, diascopy, fluorescence
    • A61B5/0062Arrangements for scanning
    • A61B5/0064Body surface scanning
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/44Detecting, measuring or recording for evaluating the integumentary system, e.g. skin, hair or nails
    • A61B5/448Hair evaluation, e.g. for hair disorder diagnosis
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45DHAIRDRESSING OR SHAVING EQUIPMENT; MANICURING OR OTHER COSMETIC TREATMENT
    • A45D44/00Other toilet or cosmetic equipment, e.g. for hairdressers' rooms
    • A45D2044/007Devices for determining the condition of hair or skin or for selecting the appropriate cosmetic or hair treatment

Abstract

An apparatus enabling an untrained user to determine a formula for hair-dyeing formulation that would yield a desired hair color, and to automatically preparing the hair-dyeing formulation. The apparatus comprises an optical scanner capable of imaging user's hair and skin; a user input capable of receiving user's input; a color graphical display capable of displaying to a user a plurality of hair colors alternatives, as well as text and instructions; a data processing unit, capable of receiving data from said user input and said optical scanner, capable of displaying images and text on said color display, capable computing a formula for hair-dyeing preparation in response to said received data; and a preparation production unit comprising: a plurality of tanks holding ingredients for hair dyeing formulation; and a mixing module mixing ingredients from said tanks to a formulation according to said computed formula.

Description

A METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING

HAIR DYEING COMPOSITION

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to hair dyeing device. More particularly, the present invention relates to an apparatus capable of analyzing hair color and condition and preparing hair dyeing chemical mixture.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Hair dyeing has always been tied to status, physical strength, religion, sexual maturity, cultivation and more. All these aspects are mainly coming out of aesthetic beauty instinct.

Throughout the history, changing hair color was done using different and varied means. People may want to change the color of their hair for various reasons. There are solutions on the market to make such a hair color changes.

One of these solutions is using hair color that is available in hair color sets that are ready for sale in industrial shops, and users can also be assisted by reading various professionals books. Hair dyeing kits are usually ready to markets by global and local companies. Hair dyeing kits usually contain a variety of chemicals, and the right oxygen-ammonia combination is not known by the end user. Since the user, may it be the simple user buying the kit and dyeing the hair at home or may it be the barber, is not aware of the actual combination of the materials in the product, serious damages may be done to the hair, scalp skin and health. Such damages may be caused as a result of lack of information deriving from the mixing, general manufacturing, and precision hair color generation. Attempts of adding caption and images together with the instructions for use of the hair color cannot prevent the mistakes caused by the variation in the type of hair of different people and the different interaction of the dyes with different types of hair.

Preceding this invention were various attempts to produce a safer hair color but those attempts were not successful enough since they: required high skills from the user, were not suitable for users not having laboratorial equipment, manufactures a limited choice of colors, discrepancy between desired and actual result, high production costs, or difficulties in selecting the desired results.

United States Patent 6,782,307; to Wilmott, et al.; August 24, 2004; titled "Method for producing customized cosmetic and pharmaceutical formulations on demand"; discloses a method and system for selecting and producing a customized cosmetic or pharmaceutical formulation. The system can be implemented in an Internet based system or a stand-alone version, such as a Kiosk.

United States Patent 5,163,010; to Klein, et al. November 10, 1992; titled "Formulating device for cosmetically functional cosmetic products"; discloses an apparatus for formulating a custom mixed cosmetic product at the point of sale in response to specific input criteria. The apparatus includes a plurality of containers for storing a plurality of cosmetically functional mixtures. The cosmetically functional mixtures are adapted to combine to form a cosmetic product. An input means is provided for entering into a computer the specific input criteria that is representative of a customer's need. The computer outputs a series of instruction sets in response to the specific input criteria to a dispensing means. The dispensing means automatically and sequentially dispenses the plurality of cosmetically functional mixtures into a formulation receptacle in response to the instruction sets. The plurality of cosmetically functional mixtures combine in the receptacle to form a custom mixed formulation of cosmetic product at the point of sale.

United States Patent Application 20050165705; to Lauper, Vera; et al. ; July 28, 2005; titled "Apparatus and methods for selecting, formulating, mixing & dispensing custom hair coloring products for a user"; discloses graphical interfaces that are provided to a customer enabling her to identify her existing hair color and to select a desired change to that hair color, based upon which there is produced hair dyes and/or intensive toners in which the intermediates (developer and coupler) and the direct dyes are dissolved in liquid or creamy carrier masses that are mixed together by a computer-controlled device based on recipes stored in a computer. Using packaged dyes and chemicals, there is formulated, mixed, packaged and dispensed to the customer a custom hair colorant.

United States Patent Application 20050228538; to Limburger, Christian;

October 13, 2005; Titled "Methods and apparatus including an improved user interface for providing custom hair coloring products to a user"; discloses methods and systems enabling untrained customers to operate a hair colorant mixing machine. Graphical interfaces are provided to the customer enabling her to identify her existing hair color and to select a desired change to that hair color. Responsive to the existing hair color and the desired change, using packaged dyes and chemicals, the machine formulates a custom hair colorant, mixes that colorant and packages and dispenses that colorant to the customer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved system, apparatus and method for providing hair-dyeing formulation.

It is thus provided in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus capable of receiving user selection of desired color, identifying the state and type of hair, and mixing chemicals in a formulation required to generate the desired hair color.

Furthermore, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of present invention, the apparatus is capable of producing of human hair-color for dyeing the hair in safely, and health adjusted to a specific user. Furthermore, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of present invention, the apparatus is simple to use and not required train personnel for its operation.

Furthermore, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the apparatus is simple and easy to use and enables the user to purchase a hair color kit and use it in a safe manner suited to him individually.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present Invention, the apparatus may use various measures in order to obtain the desired results by the user. These measures may include, without limitation: recognition and diagnosis of the character of the hair of the user, choosing from a reservoir desired diversity of colors, choosing the correct formula and chemical coloring mixture, receiving information from the user on the existing hair, means for processing data, mixture measurements and packing measurements.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present Invention, the apparatus comprises a computerized electro-mechanical structure, allowing easy and friendly use by average untrained person.

The apparatus may also comprise optical means such as a scanner or a camera, and image processing capability. The apparatus further comprises computing and human interface means such as, processor, controller, touch screen, memory device. The apparatus further comprises electrical means, mechanical and other means for production of requested mixture of materials such as hair-dyeing pigments, hair conditioners, etc.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present Invention, the apparatus may have advantages such: ease of use, ability to obtain the desired hair color by untrained user, the apparatus allows immediate or deferred use of the formulation, the apparatus may be placed in places such as retail stores, pharmaceutical stores, pharmacies, beauty institutes, hotels, airports, hair-stylists' saloon, etc.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present Invention, the device provides a solution to safety, quality and accuracy of producing hair-dyeing formulation, while using chemical materials. An aspect of the invention is to provide an apparatus enabling an untrained user to determine a formula for hair-dyeing formulation that would yield a desired hair color, and to automatically preparing the hair-dyeing formulation. The apparatus comprises an optical scanner capable of imaging user's hair and skin; a user input capable of receiving user's input; a color graphical display capable of displaying to a user a plurality of hair colors alternatives, as well as text and instructions; a data processing unit, capable of receiving data from said user input and said optical scanner, capable of displaying images and text on said color display, capable computing a formula for hair-dyeing preparation in response to said received data; and a preparation production unit comprising: a plurality of tanks holding ingredients for hair dyeing formulation; and a mixing module mixing ingredients from said tanks to a formulation according to said computed formula.

In some embodiments, the preparation production unit further comprises a packaging module capable of packaging said formulation.

In some embodiments, the preparation production unit further is capable of labeling said packaged formulation.

In some embodiments, the preparation production unit further is capable of adding to said packaged formulation additional items such as: rubber gloves, application brush, or instruction and warning labels.

In some embodiments, the optical scanner is a hand-held scanner.

In some embodiments, the optical scanner further comprises at least one illuminator.

In some embodiments, the illuminator is an LED light source.

In some embodiments, the optical scanner is capable of acquiring close- up images.

In some embodiments, the optical scanner comprises a lens having focal length of 7 to 27 mm.

In some embodiments, the data processing unit is capable of computing said formula based on information such as desired hair-color; original hair color; type of hair; type of skin; degree of gayness of hair; or type and degree of damage to the hair.

In some embodiments, the data processing unit is capable of automatically determining hair attributes such as; type of hair; type of skin; or type and degree of damage to the hair based on analysis of images acquired by said scanner.

Another aspect of the invention is to provide a method for preparing hair- dyeing formulation, the method comprises: acquiring at least one image of the hair by scanning the hair with an optical scanner; analyzing the said at least one acquired image to determine at least one hair attribute such as: type of hair; type of skin; or type and degree of damage to the hair; receiving from user's selection of desired hair color; computing a formula for hair-dyeing formulation based on said user's selection and at least one of said hair attributes; and producing hair-dyeing formulation by mixing ingredients according to said computed formula.

In some embodiments, the method further comprises packaging said hair-dyeing formulation.

In some embodiments, the method further comprises adding to said packaged hair-dyeing formulation additional items such as: rubber gloves, application brush, or instruction and warning labels.

In some embodiments determine at least one hair attribute comprises automatic analysis of said at least one acquired image by an image processing software.

In some embodiments, the method further comprises further receiving from the user information regarding hair condition such as original hair color; or degree of hair grayness.

In some embodiments, computing a formula for hair-dyeing formulation comprises adjusting said formula for at least one of original hair color; or degree of hair grayness. Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, suitable methods and materials are described below. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

In order to better understand the present invention and appreciate its practical applications, the following Figures are attached and referenced herein. Some embodiments of the invention are herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiments of the present invention only, and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice.

Figure 1 illustrates a block diagram an apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Figure 2 illustrates a flow chart of the operation process of an apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 3 illustrates a flow chart of a diagnosis and identification processes performed by an apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 4 illustrates a scan module of an apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 5 illustrates a flow chart showing some details of the process of computing formula of hair-dyeing preparation performed by an apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 6 schematically illustrates a flow chart of a process for determining the correct mixture formula performed by an apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Figure 7 illustrates a flow chart, schematically depicting some details of the operation of the apparatus in a mode choosing the hair color from a stored list of colors according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Figure 8 schematically illustrates a flow chart for formulation preparation process performed by the apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in details, it is to be understood that the invention is not necessarily limited in its application to the details set forth in the following description or exemplified by the Examples. The invention is capable of other embodiments or of being practiced or carried out in various ways.

The terms "comprises", "comprising", "includes", "including", and "having" together with their conjugates mean "including but not limited to".

The term "consisting of" has the same meaning as "including and limited to".

The term "consisting essentially of" means that the composition, method or structure may include additional ingredients, steps and/or parts, but only if the additional ingredients, steps and/or parts do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed composition, method or structure.

As used herein, the singular form "a", "an" and "the" include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. For example, the term "a compound" or "at least one compound" may include a plurality of compounds, including mixtures thereof.

Throughout this application, various embodiments of this invention may be presented in a range format. It should be understood that the description in range format is merely for convenience and brevity and should not be construed as an inflexible limitation on the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the description of a range should be considered to have specifically disclosed all the possible sub-ranges as well as individual numerical values within that range.

It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention, which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable sub- combination or as suitable in any other described embodiment of the invention.

Certain features described in the context of various embodiments are not to be considered essential features of those embodiments, unless the embodiment is inoperative without those elements.

In discussion of the various figures described herein below, like numbers refer to like parts. The drawings are generally not to scale. For clarity, non-essential elements were omitted from some of the drawing.

It should be noted that both male and female users may use the invention and the term "he" or "she" are used for both genders,

Some optional stages, steps or elements may be marked by dashed lines.

The present invention provides an apparatus and method for providing hair-dyeing preparation.

Reference is now made to Figure 1 illustrating a block diagram of the apparatus for producing hair-dyeing preparation according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Apparatus 20 for preparing hair-dyeing composition comprises three main subunits:

A user interface subunit 299 comprises a user input 100, a scanner 200 and an interactive display 300.

User input may be a keyboard, a keypad, a mouse or a combination of few of said devises. In a preferred embodiment, user input is in a form of a touch-screen, integrated with interactive display 300. User input may further comprise a card reader for reading user credit card used for billing the user for purchasing the hair dyeing preparation. In operation, user input is used by the user for example for: entering personal information, providing answers to questions posed to him, and/or making selections.

Graphical display is a color display such as a CRT display, and preferably a flat panel display such as an LCD display, Plasma display and the likes. Preferably, graphical display is capable of showing hair colors and shades of hair colors with enough fidelity as to enable the viewing user to make a determination of the hair shade he desires.

Scanner 200 is a hand held camera used for scanning the user's hair and skin for determining hair type and hair condition and will be further detailed below.

Data processing unit 499 is a computing device. Data processing unit

499 may be a PC, a laptop, or any other computing device. In some embodiments, data processing unit 499 is specifically made unit. Data processing unit 499 comprises a controller and all the necessary peripheral needed for its operation such as volatile and non-volatile memory 404.

Data processing unit interacts with the user via user interface 299, determine the composition of hair dyeing preparation that would meet the user's desired hair color, and command the preparation and production unit 599 to prepare, pack and deliver the hair dyeing preparation 10.

Data processing unit 499 controls the preparation production unit 599 to produce and deliver hair-dyeing preparation 10 to the user.

Preparation production unit 599 comprises a plurality chemical storage units 596a, 596b, 596c, etc. These are refillable or replaceable containers holding the various ingredients needed for preparing the hair dyeing preparation. A mixing module 500 is capable of drawing desired amounts of the ingredients according to a formula provided by the data processing unit

499, mix it and store it in a container provided by empty containers storage 598.

Optionally, other additional items 597 such as application brush, rubber gloves and/or instruction and warning labels are added to the product 10 by the packaging module 60. Reference is now made to Figure 2 illustrating flow chart of the operation of the device according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Apparatus 20 is triggered to start operation when a user enters his request to receive hair-dyeing preparation using user input 100. User may enter 201 his ID such as name, phone number, ID number or alias to identify himself 202 as a returning user. Optionally database in data storage 404 is globally updated, such that a returning user is recognized by any apparatus 20 belonging to the same hair dye provider. Alternatively, the user may register as a new customer or remain anonymous.

If the user is recognized 202 as a returning user, the controller uses display 300 to show 203 the returning user his past selection (or past selections) of colors. Optionally, past selections of colors are chronologically displayed.

The user may select 204 his last choice of color, or select from among his last selections of colors. In this case, the database is updated 205, the selected shade is presented 206 and the user is optionally asked 207 to confirm his selection.

Optionally, the user is asked 277 if the preparation is for immediate or postponed use. For postponed use, different packaging may be used to extent shelf-life of the product, for example by adding preservatives, selecting long- lived ingredients, or by separately storing different components that may chemically interact.

Once a selection of shade is confirmed, the data processing unit 499 computes 278 the formula of the hair-dyeing preparation.

Data processing unit 499 then commands the preparation production unit 599 to manufacture the desired preparation by mixing 208 the ingredients, packaging the mixture 209, and to deliver 210 the product 10 to the user.

If the user is not found 202 as a returning user by the system, or the user decides 204 to choose 204 a new hair color, the system commenced a process to identify his hair type, his original hair color, his hair gray level and his hair damage level.

The user is asked to use the scanner 200 and to scan 211 his hair and the skin near the hair. Image of the hair and the skin near the hair is analyzed 212 and it status is determine. Hair and skin may be rated for oiliness between dry to oily. Additionally, hair damage such as broken or split ends may be assessed. Other damage types may optionally be analyzed and identified, for example: damage caused by exposure to the sun or excessive heat, for example fan drying or curling; damage caused by chemicals such as excessive amount of oxygen; or cracks in the hair. All these factors may characterize the current state of the hair and may influence the hair dyeing formulation. Analyses may be done automatically using image processing software in data processing unit 499. Alternatively, images of the hair, optionally together with pre-stored representative comparison images may be presented to the user on graphical display 300 to assist him in determining his hair contrition.

The user is asked 213 to provide information about his natural hair color and level of gray hair. It should be noted that if the user has recently dyed his hair, scanning the hair would yield inaccurate results and thus the user is preferably asked to provide or confirm this information. However, if the user has not dyed his hair recently, information about native hair color and degree of grayness may be obtained from scanning the hair near its roots. Optionally an additional interactive graphical module is operating to get attributes about the user's hair. Such attributes may be the color of the hair, the percentage of grey hair, the health condition of the hair and additional attributes. These attributes may be collected via a series of questions to the user which may be displayed on the screen, via a series of questions, optionally accompanied by pictures from the stored database (the database used as part of the scanning module, as described in Figure 3 below).

The user is presented 214 with a choice of colors and shades of colors and asked to select 215 the hair color he desired to have after dyeing.

Once the desired shade was selected, the system progress, as in the case or returning user, to stage 205 for updating the database, and all the way to delivering the product 210. Reference is now made to Figure 3 illustrating a flow chart of the hair diagnosis and identification processes 399 performed by the apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

To perform the diagnosis, the system acquires a picture of the hair and its surrounding using an optical system, for example a digital camera (not seen in the figure) or the scanner seen in figure 4.

Some variables in hair condition may affect the efficiency of the process of the hair-dyeing are termed hair. Such attributes may be, for example, the level of oiliness of the hair, the level of acidity of the hair, damages of the hair such as broken or split ends, etc.

In step 302, the apparatus acquires at least one picture of the area surrounding the hair in order to determine whether the hair is oily, regular or dry. In addition, the system acquires at least one picture of the hair to determine whether any damages happened to the hair in the past. The acquired pictures are displayed on the graphical display 300 in stage 304 and an inspected in step 306. The inspection may be automated or manual. The inspection compares the acquired pictures to pictures stored in the database of the device. The stored pictures may be pictures of hair in several conditions (for example healthy, slightly damaged and heavily damaged) and of the hair surroundings and scalp in several conditions (for example dry, oily, low acidity and high acidity). In the automatic mode of operation, software routine executed by controller 402 compares the newly acquired pictures to the existing pictures and accordingly will classify the hair and the surroundings according to predetermined categories. In the manual mode of operation, the comparison between the acquired pictures and the previously stored pictures will be done by the user. In some embodiments, pictures previously acquired from the same user are used to determine if a change or changes occurred in the user's hair condition. In some embodiment, a trained store employee may assist the user locally or remotely. In manual inspection mode, the pictures of user's hair and hair with known attributes are displayed, preferably side by side) and the user manually selects the category best fits the acquired picture. Optionally, pictures of similar hair and skin color are presented to the user to ease the inspection. Based on the inspection, stage 308 is providing the hair attributes to be used in computing hair-dyeing mixture.

Reference is now made to Figure 4 illustrating a hand held hair scanner 200 of the apparatus 20 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Scanner 200 comprises an ergonomic handle 900 and a head 901. Handle 900 is preferably designed to be easily gripped. Head 901 holds illuminator or illuminators 902 for illuminating the hair while camera 904 having a lens 998 acquires the image or images. The illuminator 902 may comprise LED and/or infrared illumination. Illuminator 902 is preferably located in the front of the handle so as to direct light to the scanned area in order to allow effective scanning of the area.

In addition, scanner 200 comprises a camera 904 capable of acquiring a high-resolution picture of the illuminated area. The acquired picture is transferred to the diagnosis and identification module. The camera is optionally having a lens 498 of 7-25 mm and may comprise optics for achieving resolution of up to 4000 DPI. In some embodiments, a camera having 1.3 to 2 mega pixels is used, however, different or higher resolution camera may be used. Similarly, different lens may be used, for example a zoom lens, or a lens with high magnification. Preferably, the lens is adapted to for close-up macro photography. The acquired picture may be processed in several image-processing methods so as to fit the requirements of the database of the pictures. The scanned image is later compared to other images in order to catalog the attributes of the hair according to the parameters described in the invention.

Scanner 200 may be connected to apparatus 20 via electric cable 997, however in some embodiments scanner 200 may be battery operated and transfer the acquired image data via short-range wireless channel.

Reference is now made to Figure 5 illustrating a flow chart showing some details of the process 278 of computing formula of hair-dyeing preparation performed by an apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

The system receives 702 from the user a selection of desired hair color and shade from a stored database of potential colors.

The system further receives 704 information for example on the user's natural hair color and/or percentage of gray hair. Optionally, the system receives information on the current hair color and/or type of dye used to obtain this color - if different from the natural color. This data may be provided by the user, but some of it may be obtained by automatic analysis of scanner images.

The system further receives 705 information for example about hair type, skin type, and/or hair condition such as type of damage and extent of damage to the hair.

Using this information the system computes 706 a formula comprising a plurality of ingredients stored in the chemicals' storage tanks 596 (three such tanks are seen in figure 1 , 596a-c, however number of tanks may be larger).

Optionally, some tanks may hold pre-mixed formulas, and frequently used formulas may be stored in pre-mixed, ready to use form. Reference is now made to Figure 6 schematically illustrating a flow chart

669 of a process for determining the correct mixture formula performed by an apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

The existing hair color and degree of grayness may have an effect on the amount of pigments to be used when dyeing the hair. The system receives 601 information regarding the existing hair color and the level of grey hair as noted above.

In the event that there is little or no grey hair or low level of gray hair 603, there is no need to change the original "regular" formula of color pigments. In the event that there is a medium 603 or a high level 602 of grey hair, there is a change to the level of pigments wherein more pigments are added when more gray hair is present. The level of change is different based on the existing color. For example, in the event that the existing color hair is dark brown and the level of grey hair is medium, additional 15% pigments may be added. If the level of grey hair is high, additional 20% pigments may be added. Another example is in the event that the existing color hair is blond and the level of grey hair is medium, additional 10% pigments may be added. If the level of grey hair is high, additional 15% pigments will be added.

After the additional amount of pigments has been identified, the system receives 605 information that identifies the condition of the hair. Formula is then adapted to the hair and skin condition. For example in the event that the hair is regular 610 both in the oiliness and in the damage level, no change to the formula is needed. In the event that the hair is damaged 608, 606 or has a non-normal level of oiliness 606, 607 608 609 or acidity, the chemical attributes of the formula change.

The system then complete 611 the formula of the hair-dyeing preparation.

Reference is now made to Figure 7 illustrating a flow chart 799 schematically depicting some details of the operation of the apparatus in a mode choosing the hair color from a stored list of colors according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

In this exemplary embodiment, the system display to the user 702 optional colors and shades which may be available on graphical display 300 for identifying which hair color the user wants to have, The selection of the colors is based on images of colors that may be divided to group of shades. The images are displayed, preferably on a touch-screen for the user can choose from 704.

For example, the family of blond colors may be indicated by the letter B. When the used presses the B family selector, a selection of shades in the blond color "B" appears; for example "platinum blond 101 ", "light blond 103" etc.

In stage 706 the system processes all the information received from or and acquired from the user, by the scanner, camera and/or hair identification module and by the interactive graphical decision module. All the information is being processed and a decision of the exact formula ingredients is finalized after optimization as disclosed in previous figures.

In order to provide an accurate and safe formula, software executed by controller 402 (shown in figure 1) prevents the system from producing a formula that may be dangerous for use or that is incompatible with the user's hair condition. The system may ask the user to choose another shade or color or may suggest a shade that might fit the needs. For example, the apparatus may prevent damage to the hair or scalp caused by adding too much oxygenating chemical to the formulation. Additionally, errors caused by incorrect measuring of chemical or errors in selecting the correct chemical may be avoided. Additionally, by identifying or obtaining information about the natural hair color, or identifying or obtaining information about the hair color previously used, interaction between the existing hair color and the formulation may be predicted. Analyzing possible interaction between the excising hair color and the formulation may prevent unpleasant surprises often experienced by hair-dye users where the resulting hair color is far from the desired one. Reference is now made to Figure 8 illustrating a flow chart 899 for formulation preparation and packaging process performed by the apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

In stage 801 preparation production unit 599 receives the formula from data processing unit 499. The formula details the ingredients for generating the requested color.

The ingredients are safely stored in separate containers 596 that can be easily replaced in order to add the materials that run out. Such a container switch may be done by screwing a container into a marked terminal and fastening the container. Preferable, the containers switch is handles in an automatic manner using a controller that is capable of receiving from the storage controller information related to the amount of materials left ready for use. Different chemical materials are handled in a different manner according to their characteristics. The ingredients of the formula are preferably moved through plastic pipeline.

Optionally, different formulation and/or different packaging are selected 809 depending if the mixed formula is for immediate 802 or postponed 803 use.

For immediate use, preferably all the ingredients are mixed 802.

However, the formulation may be use instantly or in a delay mode.

Therefore, the device fits a large range of potential professional users and/or hair salons as well as simple users that dye their hair at home. The formula is packaged 804, either as separate ingredients to be later mixed 803 if the use is not instant, or as a mixed cream 802 to be immediately used.

In embodiments wherein the formulation is used immediately, for example at a hair stylist's saloon, packaging is unnecessary.

Optionally, stage 806 offers the option of adding to the formulation optional additions 597 such as a hair dyeing kit that might include disposable gloves, disposable brush, spreading instructions etc.

Finally, product 10 is delivered 809 to the user.

Although the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims. All publications, patents and patent applications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated in their entirety by reference into the specification, to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated herein by reference. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in this application shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention.

Claims

1. An apparatus for determining of formula and automatically preparing hair-dyeing formulation comprising:
an optical scanner capable of imaging user's hair and skin;
a user input capable of receiving user's input;
a color graphical display capable of displaying to a user a plurality of hair colors alternatives, as well as text and instructions;
a data processing unit, capable of receiving data from said user input and said optical scanner, capable of displaying images and text on said color display, capable computing a formula for hair-dyeing preparation in response to said received data; and
a preparation production unit comprising:
a plurality of tanks holding ingredients for hair dyeing formulation; and
a mixing module mixing ingredients from said tanks to a formulation according to said computed formula.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein said preparation production unit further comprises a packaging module capable of packaging said formulation.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said preparation production unit further is capable of labeling said packaged formulation.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein said preparation production unit further is capable of adding to said packaged formulation additional items such as: rubber gloves, application brush, or instruction and warning labels.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein said optical scanner is a hand-held scanner.
6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein said optical scanner further comprises at least one illuminator.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein said illuminator is an LED light source.
8. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein said optical scanner is capable of acquiring close-up images.
9. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein said optical scanner comprises a lens having focal length of 7 to 27 mm.
10. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein said data processing unit is capable of computing said formula based on information such as: desired hair- color; original hair color; type of hair; type of skin; degree of gayness of hair; or type and degree of damage to the hair.
11.The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein said data processing unit is capable of automatically determining hair attributes such as; type of hair; type of skin; or type and degree of damage to the hair based on analysis of images acquired by said scanner.
12. A method for preparing hair-dyeing formulation comprising:
acquiring at least one image of the hair by scanning the hair with an optical scanner;
analyzing the said at least one acquired image to determine at least one hair attribute such as: type of hair; type of skin; or type and degree of damage to the hair;
receiving from user's selection of desired hair color; computing a formula for hair-dyeing formulation based on said user's selection and at least one of said hair attributes; and
producing hair-dyeing formulation by mixing ingredients according to said computed formula.
13. The method of claim 12, further comprising packaging said hair-dyeing formulation.
14. The method of claim 13, further comprising adding to said packaged hair-dyeing formulation additional items such as: rubber gloves, application brush, or instruction and warning labels.
15. The method of claim 12, wherein determine at least one hair attribute comprises automatic analysis of said at least one acquired image by an image processing software.
16. The method of claim 12, further receiving from the user information regarding hair condition such as original hair color; or degree of hair grayness.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein computing a formula for hair-dyeing formulation comprises adjusting said formula for at least one of original hair color; or degree of hair grayness.
PCT/IL2010/000684 2009-08-24 2010-08-23 A method and apparatus for providing hair dyeing composition WO2011024160A1 (en)

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US61/236,194 2009-08-24

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