technology

Apple Will Sell L'Oreal's My Skin Track UV To Measure Sun Exposure

Here’s the perfect gift for that climate change denier on your holiday list.

L’Oreal’s LaRoche-Posay division has introduced My Skin Track UV, a wearable, battery-free device that clips on clothing to measures exposure to UV rays, while a companion app monitors humidity, pollution and pollen.

In a marketing twist, the My Skin Track UV sensor is being sold exclusively through apple.com and at some Apple stores, instead of stores where LaRoche-Posay skin-care products are sold. 

L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator created and designed it, not Apple.

Apple already sells a handful of products it didn’t make. The Skin Track UV is displayed on the Apple website in between the $250 MekaMon Robot V2 adult toy and the $150 Ember Temperature Control Mug, and near a $70 glucose monitoring kit. 

My Skin Track UV retails for $60.

“Our research has long indicated the need for better consumer understanding of personal UV exposure,” said Guive Balooch, global vice president who heads L'Oréal's Technology Incubator, in a release. “We hope the launch of this problem-solving technology makes it easier for people to make smart, sun-safe choices.”

The waterproof sensor, which clips on clothing and is about the size of a lavalier microphone, measures both UV rays and provides instant status updates.  The monitor is activated by the same thing it’s measuring -- the sun--and powered by the user’s smartphone using near-field communications. Users tap the tracker against their smartphone to update the app to get information on sun exposure, humidity, pollen and pollution.

A  2016 test of the prototype concept showed 34% of the users applied sunscreen more often and 37% sought shade more frequently when they could easily monitor their exposure to the sun’s rays.

“The hope is that, with this dose of the-numbers-don’t-lie reality, consumers will be more proactive about wearing sunscreen daily,” according to a Vogue article about the product.

My Skin Track UV also benefited from a partnership and research L’Oréal conducted with John Rogers, a professor at Northwestern University, and two wearables companies that work with flexible, stretchable electronics and very small-scale wireless technologies.

L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator started in 2012. It showed off the “world’s first smart hairbrush” at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show last year. Two other innovations include an app that allows users to try on shades of make-up before buying, and a customized foundation product that uses algorithms to create exact skin tones.

The UV tracking concept, then in different form, created some buzz at the 2018 CES Show. A refined version, designed by Yves Behar, is what's hitting the market now.

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