Alongside other trends in the growing market for wearables, there appears to be a growing demand for connected devices that help users keep safe when spending time in the sun. That's fitting since summer is fast approaching in some parts of the world. Users will be soaking up vitamin D with impunity and some less desirable UV radiation as well. The harm of too much UV radiation may not be perfectly understood but it is known to lead to skin cancer, undesirable signs of aging, and more. Now, thanks to new innovations by L'Oréal, among some others in the burgeoning new category, it's possible to enjoy the former so many of the negative effects of the latter. This is one growing trend that wearable manufacturers may want to pay attention to.
L'Oréal's own device, the La Roche-Posay branded UV Sense featured at this year's CES 2018 event, stands apart as being innovative without clashing with style. The device is a battery-free indicator that's small enough to fit on a fingernail, doesn't require a battery, and connects to a user's smartphone via NFC to provide metrics about their exposure. It also provides advice on how to reduce related issues. However, it can only be worn for weeks before a new UV Sense is recommended. It's also hardly the only device designed to accomplish that feat and some of the others that are available provide a more permanent solution with real-time feedback. Ultra Inc's Violet is a wearable device which accomplishes a similar result but provides a warning when sun exposure goes on for too long. There's currently no timeframe for that particular device to be released but this wouldn't be much of a trend if there weren't other options. The Shade UV sensor is currently available for just under $250 and clips to any piece of clothing magnetically. It takes things a step further by measuring the exposure to harmful rays from even indoor light-bulbs. Meanwhile, the QSun one-ups that further by adding A.I. to analyze the wearer's skin and offer suggestions on which sunscreen should be used – in addition to advice and information about vitamin D intake. That device, for early birds through the associated IndieGoGo campaign, is available for just under $60.
Beyond even those solutions, mobile applications have already been available for quite some time but are beginning to pick up on similar complexities to the QSun magnetic clip-on. Still, other companies are focusing their efforts on protecting consumers' eyes from overexposure to the sun via smart glasses enabled with similar sensors and software. So there seems to be a real demand for these types of products. With sunnier months on the way, coupled with the fact that this may just be the next big trend in wearable technologies, it probably shouldn't be too surprising if some of these sensors start finding their way into smartwatches and other wearables in the near future.