They're called hot perms or digital perms, and while they've been around for awhile in places like South Korea and Japan, they're starting to crop up in Europe and the U.S. these days, too.
And unlike the old-school perms that either gave you tight, wild spirals or nothing at all, digital perms provide a great deal more flexibility and variability. So instead of frizz, you get anything from beachy waves to loose curls, turning your locks from bland to Hollywood style that lasts for months.
So how does it work? Well, unlike traditional cold perms that use just rollers and a solution, digital perms use heat the set the curl. There's still a solution, but it's a different kind, and you have more options regarding where you want the curl to start. Do you want it root-to-tip? At the cheekbones? At the chin? Then the hair is rolled up in different sized rollers depending on how much curl you want, and the rollers are plugged into a machine that digitally controls the heat and sets the curl.