Wearables have been a significant part of 2017, with the shipments crossing over 3.5 million units in the year. Most of the wearables that we have seen have been in the form of fitness bands, worn around the wrist. However, what if we tell you that there is a wearable that could help protect you from skin cancer, and is only a raindrop-sized button that can simply sit on your nail? That’s what L’Oreal debuted at CES 2018 with its UV Sense device.
The luxury cosmetic brand, L’Oreal, has developed the first ever battery-free wearable that measures UV exposure. Just 2mm in thickness and 9mm in diameter, the tiny electronic sensor can be worn on a fingernail, pair of sunglasses or any other item that’s exposed to sunlight. The sensor is reusable and re-adhesive.
The device comes along with an app available for both iOS and Android, which essentially syncs and translates the data from the sensor with the help of NFC. The collected data allows users to determine when they should be mindful of UV exposure.
The patch is a transparent adhesive that, unlike the rigid wearables currently on the market, stretches and adheres directly to any area of skin that consumers want to monitor. Measuring approximately one square inch in area and 50 micrometers thick – half the thickness of an average strand of hair – the patch contains photosensitive dyes that factor in the baseline skin tone and change colors when exposed to UV rays to indicate varying levels of sun exposure.
This means, if you are outdoors in the day, if the level of UV exposure is indicated high, you could choose to take precautions against the sun, or opt to stay in shady areas.
“Connected technologies have the potential to completely disrupt how we monitor the skin’s exposure to various external factors, including UV,” says Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator. “Previous technologies could only tell users the amount of potential sun exposure they were receiving per hour while wearing a rigid, non-stretchable device. The key was to design a sensor that was thin, comfortable and virtually weightless so people would actually want to wear it. We’re excited to be the first beauty company entering the stretchable electronics field and to explore the many potential applications for this technology within our industry and beyond.”
As unveiled at CES 2018, the L’Oreal UV Sense will be available exclusively through La Roche-Posay dermatologists in 2018. A global launch is expected in 2019. Official pricings haven’t been revealed yet, but L’Oreal hopes to price it at or under $40, which is roughly Rs 2,500.