Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, cosmetics and beauty company L'Oréal has unveiled its new 'smart skin patch' dubbed as "My UV Patch" that has the capability of tracking the skin's level of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.
The patch contains a blue dye that changes its color upon receiving photons from sunlight. After the patch has changed colors, the user must then take a picture and then upload it onto an app to be able to see the results.
"My UV Patch" can be worn in any part of the body, and lasts for five days. "Today all the wearables you see are jewellery or wrist bands - but not wearable in the sense that you wear them anywhere on your body," said Guive Balooch, global vice president of the Technology Incubator department at L'Oréal, in an interview with the BBC. Once the user is done with the patch, it can also be easily disposed.
When asked why a company such as L'Oréal would be interested in making such things, Balooch explains, "when you think about our products, the people apply them all over their body. Being able to have this technology to measure properties of the skin in real life anywhere you want allows us to develop really new testing methods for future products."
Furthermore, Balooch compared this skin patch to similar products from other companies, stating that competitors' patches only lasts for a few minutes, and that their skin patch is usable for days.
However, he advises users not to take the color-changing act of the patch as a reminder to re-apply suncream. "The issue is not when to reapply, the issue is how much exposure do I have," he said.
Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at the KWP Comtech research firm, stated that the idea is "pretty amazing."
"UV is a different focus and one that makes a lot of sense coming from L'Oreal," she said.
However, she raises the concern that the need to upload pictures of the patch to an app might be frustrating for some. "I wonder if rather than seeing the cumulative impact in an app I would prefer to be alerted when my UV exposure will cause sun burn or worse," Milanesi suggested.
"My UV Patch" will be released initally in 16 countries, and can be acquired for free.
Source: BBC | Image via L'Oréal