The energy radiated by the sun comes in a wide range of wavelengths, most of which are not visible to our eyes. Sunlight is the main source of ultraviolet (UV) rays. The Earth’s atmosphere prevents most of the Sun’s UV radiation from penetrating through the atmosphere. The small amount that gets through has both positive and negative effects. While UV ray has some beneficial effects on our health, over-exposure to this ray is a major risk factor for most skin cancers.
Smart wearables to monitor UV radiation are few and far between. Depending on the brand, these UV monitors can be worn in various ways. Some of them clip on to your clothes, some come in the form of wristbands and some have an adhesive that sticks directly to your skin. We’ve made a list of 5 UV wearables to keep you safe from sunlight.
QSun is a wearable that detects UV exposure and displays UV index using its five LED displays. When you give it a shake, it’ll show your UV index. That’s the measurement of how powerful UV radiation beaming from the sun is. The iOS and Android-friendly app allows you to keep track of how long you have been out in the sun before you start to burn. It will vibrate when you’ve been in the sun for too long. The AI in the device takes skin type into consideration as well, to help determine the time you should spend out in the sun. If you apply some sunscreen, two shakes on the QSun will let it know and it’ll take that into consideration while you’re catching some rays. The device also has step count feature which it can pull from Apple Health and Google Fit to let you know how much of your daily activity was spent in safe UV exposure. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, QSun is now available to buy.
L’Oreal My UV Patch
L’Oreal became the first beauty company to enter the stretchable electronics field when it developed L’Oreal My UV Patch, a wearable, stretchable sensor that connects to a user’s smartphone to monitor the wearer’s sun exposure. The patch is about one square inch in size and 50 micrometers thick. It works like a removable tattoo or a nicotine patch, sticking to the skin for five days. Once applied, the wearable is showerproof, has no batteries, and there is no initial cost or ongoing cost. The photosensitive dyes contained in the wearable factors in the baseline skin tone and change colors when exposed to UV rays. Users take a photo of the patch and upload it via NFC to the accompanying smartphone app, which then analyzes the varying photosensitive dye squares to determine the amount of UV exposure.
If you want to keep track of your UV exposure but don’t like wearing a wristband, Rooti CliMate is for you. In addition to UV tracking, the device also detects temperature and humidity. You just have to make sure the sensor is facing the sun in order to get an accurate reading. It can be clipped onto clothing on any part of the body. The data is wirelessly synced to the CliMate app, which provides recommendations based on the wearer’s precise Fitzpatrick skin type and the SPF level of any sunscreen applied.
This attachable sensor lets you know the exact amount of UV light you can be exposed to before increasing your chances of skin damage. When we say ‘exact,’ it means it is validated to be as precise as lab equipment and even sensitive enough to measure UV rays from light bulbs.
SunFriend Personal UV Monitor
Back in 2014, this Indiegogo backed project became one of the first smart UV monitors on the market. The device is water-resistant and does not need Bluetooth, meaning it works independent of phones. The LED’s flash to alert you as you reach your daily limit of safer UV exposure. All you have to do is set your own personal sensitivity level to match your specific skin type and color, and the wearable takes care of the rest. Approved by the Vitamin D Council, the bracelet helps you optimize vitamin D from the sun while preventing overexposure. The SunFriend Personal UV Monitor is inexpensive and you don’t have to worry about battery-life as it can go on for 3 years.