Developed by L'Oréal's skincare brand La Roche-Posay (in collaboration with Northwest University materials scientist Prof. John Rogers), the waterproof device measures 12 by 6 mm, and is affixed to the user's clothing via an integrated wire clip. A prototype version of the product was unveiled at this year's CES show, under the name UV Sense.
It's activated by exposure to the sun, automatically logging up to three months worth of cumulative exposure to both UVA and UVB rays. To access that data, users just tap the device with their NFC (near field communication)-enabled smartphone. An iOS/Android app on that phone then displays not only their UV exposure over a given time period, but also information such as the local UV index, air quality index, pollen levels and humidity.
If users see that they're approaching their maximum safe amount of UV exposure – or have even exceeded it – they can proceed to seek the shade.
My Skin Track UV is available now in US Apple retail stores and via the Apple retail website, priced at US$59.95. A rollout to other markets is forthcoming. For a cheaper and lower-tech alternative, there are already a variety of UV-measuring bracelets on the market.