Pin It
MODA – the make-up tech that claims to give you the make-up look of any celebrity in 30 seconds

Why this make-up-applying robot is the worst invention ever

Put your face in this enormous weird box, get the look of any celebrity in 30 seconds, and watch the Instagram likes roll in

We live in a culture that likes to do everything as fast as humanly (or robotically) possible. You know this – you're sat there with more than 20 tabs open, listening to a pop up advert trying to sell you sex in one ear and a Taylor Swift song in another. Your boss wants you to do more, quicker, because why shouldn't you? You've got the internet, right? Fucking hurry up.

As slaves to increasingly unattainable productivity targets, our free time is becoming all the more valuable. This means that tech companies are looking for innovative ways to afford you more time in the day just "doing your thing". Not all of these inventions are bad – see microwaves. But MODA, the "world's first digital make-up artist" and its accompanying promo video, is an insight into a world so rancidly futuristic that it makes me wish the Millennium Bug had just finished us all off before we had the chance to get pretty good at computers.

MODA, designed by Swedish company Foreo, lets you "choose the latest red carpet looks" on your phone, send the design to the system, then put your head in an enormous box that "puts your face on", in a slightly similar way to how car washes work, just sticking stuff on, not taking it off. Now I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that you can't get perfectly applied lipstick from sticking your face in a box. What if I sneeze? What if it's just impossible?

I used to date someone who spent hours putting make-up on me. The relationship didn't last long but was definitely defined by the ceremony of make-up. I dread to think what it would have been like if she'd said in a monotone, not even looking up from a magazine, "go and stand over there and put your face in that box for 30 seconds. Thank you." While MODA may appeal to some millennials (does it?) the promo video will make anyone want to rip their own face off. Let me talk you through it.

1st SECOND – An entirely genreless guitar riff opens the video. I don't know where music like this lives beyond MODA adverts and soundtracking looking at league tables on sports programmes that nobody watches.

7th SECOND – The protagonist, J.Ras, is texting a friend who's invited her to see "Justin DJ at a da new club". Is this sentence deliberately wrong? Has market research decided that this is how me communicate now because we're all fucking idiots? In my head, Justin is textbook hot. Justin works out. Justin wears Von Dutch. Justin leaves misogynistic comments on obscure DJ forums. In his Twitter bio, it says that Justin plays "mostly house, a little bit of techno". Justin has slept with both of these friends. We never meet Justin.

13th SECOND – The first mention of the "fast-paced lifestyle" that you, the consumer, has. You need MODA, my abnormally busy friend.

18th SECOND – Justin is starting in five minutes!!! But wait, our protagonist J.Ras is unusually calm. Why? Normally you'd be bouncing round your flat like a trapped bat if you knew that Justin was starting in five minutes and you were yet to put make-up on.

27th SECOND – J.Ras scrolls on her iPhone through a neverending list of celebrity faces and picks Mila Kunis. Fine.

35th SECOND – She walks towards MODA, she's staring straight into the bright lights. Is this what heaven looks like? Is she dead? No, she's not, because straight after she's been given the treatment, a voiceover starts reminding her to "upload and show off your amazing new look" to Instagram. I see now. She's in hell.

And now it's all coming out isn't it? That's what this is all for, isn't it? Jesus, it's all for likes. People have dedicated time, money and research to this project, a machine complicit in our own seedy self-obsession. I don't get away with it either – at some point today I'll check how many this likes this story got; a story that turns on the premise that wanting likes is bad.

This MODA video is a horrible glimpse into our impending future of fast-food narcissisism, a frenzy of replicating celebrity looks as quickly as technology will allow us so that we can go out and tag ourselves in clubs looking like Mila Kunis, while watching non-celebs like Justin standing behind his own machines, playing techno as quickly as possible to people who just want to get out of there as fast as they can.