Nail art-like sensor to help track UV exposure

Nail art-like sensor to help track UV exposure

L'oreal UV Sense 1
(Photo: L'Oreal)

SINGAPORE: As a way of fighting skin cancer, a wearable UV sensor that can be worn on the thumbnail to help track UV exposure was launched by L'Oreal at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan 7.

Although the UV Sense can also be stuck on sunglasses or watch, users are advised to wear it on the thumbnail as this is an area of the body that L'Oreal says receives "optimal sunlight".

Skin cancer ranks sixth in men and seventh in women in Singapore, according to the Trends in Cancer Incidence in Singapore 2010-2014 from the Singapore Cancer Registry. 

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer here, and is most typically found in sun-exposed areas of the body. 

The UV Sense does not use a battery but is powered by Near Field Communication (NFC) connection to a smartphone - a wireless technology that works using magnetic field induction and is used for contactless payment systems. 

This enables components such as the ultraviolet sensor and status LED to be squeezed into a 9mm wide and 2mm thick housing. 

L'oreal UV Sense 2
(Photo: L'Oreal)

Data on the user's UV exposure levels collected by UV Sense can be offloaded onto an iOS or Android-compatible app, which will also recommend products based on the skin score. 

A feature that makes the tracker useful for holiday-makers - when access to smart gadgets is limited - is that it can store up to three months worth of information. Replaceable adhesives allow it to be reworn. 

The unobtrusive design was created by Swiss designer Yves Behar. 

"Design and technology are inextricably linked and as products become more personalised to individuals, both elements are integral to providing people with seamless experiences," he said. 

UV Sense builds on a UV patch created by the French company in 2016, which also tracked UV exposure.

Pricing details and availability were not revealed. But L’Oreal is planning to introduce the UV Sense in a limited rollout in the middle of the year, with a wider global launch sometime in 2019.

Source: CNA/bk