Wearable tech device to measure sun protection — odd new product

https://www.vogue.com/article/la-roche-posay-wearable-tech-my-skintrack-uv-gadget-device-sun-skin-cancer-protection-pollution-apple-stores

This New Wearable Tech Device—Now in Apple Stores—Is the Future of Sun Protection

Photographed by Greg Harris, Vogue, November 2016

The future of sun protection has arrived. And it isn’t something you slather all over your body, nor is it the latest iteration of second-skin neoprene. It’s a tiny, sculptural device you can clip onto the collar of a crisp white button-up, lapel of a vintage corduroy blazer, or even the brim of a sumptuous leather bucket bag. The brainchild of L’Oréal and cultish French skin-care brand La Roche-Posay, the new My Skin Track/UV device, which just launched at select Apple stores and on apple.com, is the world’s first battery-free wearable electronic device to measure UV exposure.

Developed in collaboration with professor John Rogers from Northwestern University, a globally renowned developer in wearable technology, the cutting-edge device is designed to give individuals a better understanding of how vulnerable they are to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, not just during the summer months or on a tropical island vacation, but day to day. The hope is that, with this dose of the-numbers-don’t-lie reality, consumers will be more proactive about wearing sunscreen daily. “The effects of sun exposure are cumulative, [making] it absolutely essential to wear sunscreen all year long,” says New York City dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D. “Every day counts.”

Photo: Courtesy of L’Oréal

Using a precise sensor for measurements, the solar-powered device works in tandem with an accompanying smartphone app that not only provides extensive UV data, but also monitors pollution, humidity, and pollen levels, all of which can be integrated with Apple’s popular HealthKit platform, which amalgamates all the data from different health and fitness apps so that you can view everything in one place. And for Guive Balooch, global vice president and head of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, creating a discreet device that could be incorporated seamlessly into one’s daily life—and wardrobe, from clothing to accessories—was top of mind.

“Both creatively and engineering-wise, it had to be small and something people would actually want to wear,” insists Balooch. Ticking the box of the former, there are the miniature dimensions, which clock in at 12 millimeters wide and 6 millimeters tall (about the size of a paper clip). And on top of its petite size, not having to charge it daily ups the ante on practicality. Aesthetically, it’s sure to appease even the most discerning of street style fixtures thanks to the prolific industrial designer Yves Behar, who has been the mastermind behind everything from the Jawbone Jambox bluetooth speakers to the One Laptop Per Child project’s XO Laptops.

Considering skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., with the American Academy of Dermatology estimating one in five Americans will develop the disease in their lifetime, the chic and discreet gadget arrives just in time. Not to mention that sun damage is the No. 1 cause of premature aging, exacerbating hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and loss of firmness. “In terms of exposure, it’s individual to each person based on their lifestyle,” says Balooch. “Having this information can really benefit people, allowing them to protect themselves by having the right sun-protective products in their regimen.” In essence, it’s a one-two-punch gadget for optimal beauty and health—and what’s more beautiful than that?

My Skin Track/UV, $60, is now available at select Apple stores and apple.com.

Only at Apple

La Roche-Posay My Skin Track SensorInline - 3

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