L’Oréal has unveiled UV Sense at CES this week, a battery-free wearable electronic that provides consumers with individual information of their ultraviolet (UV) exposure through a small design worn on the nail.
The product will launch for dermatological skincare brand La Roche-Posay this summer. It has been created in collaboration with visionary designer Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject, and comes from L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator.
“L’Oréal research shows that overexposure to UV rays is a top health and beauty concern of consumers worldwide,” says Guive Balooch, global vice president of the incubator. “With this knowledge, we set out to create something that blends problem-solving technology with human-centered design to reach even more consumers who require additional information about their UV exposure. Whenever we develop a new technology, our goal is to make an enormous global impact by enhancing consumers’ lives.”
He adds: “Beauty trends show that adoption of wearable nail art accessories is on the rise, with a more than 65% increase in nail art trends over the last five years. Our innovation taps into this growing trend, while illustrating our deep commitment to sun safe behavior and protection.”
The launch follows the first stretchable skin sensor measuring UV exposure from the group unveiled at CES in 2016, called My UV Patch. Since then, La Roche-Posay has distributed more than one million patches to consumers in 37 countries free of charge to encourage sun safe behaviors.
This new launch follows feedback from users showing that although they changed their behaviour – 63% reported less sunburn, 34% apply sunscreen more often and 37% try to stay in the shade more frequently – they wanted a smaller wearable with longer wear and real-time data.
UV Sense is less than two millimeters thick, nine millimeters in diameter and designed to be worn for up to two weeks on the thumbnail, compared to just several days for My UV Patch. It can also store up to three months of data.
It is powered by the user’s mobile phone and activated by UVA and UVB rays. An accompanying app translates and transfers data from the sensor using Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled technology.
“Design and technology are inextricably linked, and as products become more personalized to individuals, both elements are integral to providing people with seamless experiences,” says Behar. “By working with L’Oréal, we are able to pair deep expertise in beauty tech with an effective design that enhances consumers’ wellbeing without distracting from their everyday lives.”
Both UV Sense and a new limited-edition redesign of My UV Patch draw from research L’Oréal conducted in conjunction with MC10 Inc, a leading wearable technology company, and professor John Rogers at Northwestern University, through his portfolio of intellectual property (IP) and innovation around flexible, stretchable electronics.
They will both be available via www.laroche-posay.us on a limited basis in the US for the 2018 summer season with a global launch following in 2019.