As an adult, my mum is rarely around to remind me to reapply sunscreen when I’m outside. But do you know who still nags me all day long? My smartphone. So L’Oréal has created an incredibly tiny UV sensor you wear on your thumbnail that connects to your smartphone to help you keep track of your exposure to the sun’s rays.
Powered by a capacitor that charges from a wireless NFC connection to your phone, the UV Sense doesn’t need a bulky battery you have to charge every night. As a result, its various components, including an ultraviolet sensor and status LED, can all squeeze into a tiny housing that’s just nine millimetres wide, and two millimetres thick. When worn on your thumb, which guarantees it gets as much exposure to the sun as possible, you’ll barely notice it’s there.
The only time you will notice the sensor is when you check your phone, because the UV Sense connects to an accompanying iOS or Android app to offload data about your UV exposure levels. On its own, the sensor can store up to three months of sun exposure data in case you’re on vacation with limited access to your devices. But it’s far more useful with the app which provides notifications and other warnings about your time in the sun, as well as a warning for when you should head inside.
It might seem like an odd device to come from a company like L’Oréal that focuses on skin care products. But damage from UVA and UVB rays are a major contributor to wrinkles and other skin conditions that can make you appear a lot older than you really are. Instead of trying to fix the damage afterwards, UV Sense is a product that can genuinely make your skin look better with pre-emptive care including the use of sunscreen and shade.
Pricing details and specific availability haven’t been confirmed as of yet, but L’Oréal is planning to introduce the UV Sense in a limited rollout this Summer, with a wider global launch sometime in 2019.