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A Nail Decoration Gives Warning in Case of UV Exposure - By : Hanen Hattab,

A Nail Decoration Gives Warning in Case of UV Exposure


Hanen Hattab
Hanen Hattab Author profile
Hanen Hattab is a PhD student in Semiology at UQAM. Her research focuses on subversive and countercultural arts and design practices such as artistic vandalism, sabotage and cultural diversions in illustration, graphic arts and sculpture.

a new technology evaluate uv exposition

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Nail art has gone through many trends in recent years. There are countless combinations of designs, patterns and jewelry. Fashion is not really the subject of this article, but the accessory presented here does look like a cool nail decoration. Indeed, it is a biometric accessory resulting from the collaboration between cosmetics and beauty company L’Oréal, Professor John Rogers of Northwestern University and French designer Yves Béhar. The technology was unveiled at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 7, 2018.

The UV Sense Anti Sunburn Solution

L’Oréal created a technology that collects and shares real-time data on ultraviolet exposure time and air quality. The object alerts users in the event of prolonged and risky exposure, and allows them to program notification times. UV Sense is a one-application system with a small capsule containing a sensor, measuring less than 2 mm thick and 9 mm in diameter that sticks to the fingernail. According to L’Oréal, this part of the body is the best place to indicate sun exposure. UV Sense can also adorn sunglasses or watches. It will be distributed next year, first to dermatologists, and subsequently offered in stores. Its price will not exceed US $50.

On January 6, 2016, L’Oréal launched at the CES a similar product under its brand name La Roche-Posay. The sensor, called My UV Patch, is a soft patch that sticks to the back of the hand. The working principle is the same as UV Sense: the sensor is connected to an application in which users create a profile and receive indications on the exposure rate as well as information on remaining hours of sunshine. The technology reminds users to take all the necessary precautions to avoid sunburn: reapplying sunscreen, drinking liquids and taking shelter from the sun. Other tips on skin care are also provided by the application.

Technical Features, Design and Operation

Béhar created a design that combines technology with consumer experience. In other words, the object brings an aesthetic touch without being distracting nor restrictive. Plus, several designs will be available. While the patch lasts 3 days, UV Sense can last up to two weeks. Users can even extend this period by applying an adhesive, included in the package, to re-glue the capsule.

The capsule comprises a capacitor, an LED, and a radiation-resistant integrated circuit called Bare Die, all mounted on a flexible printed circuit and covered with a silicone layer and an outer shell. Having no battery makes the capsule lighter. Plus, the sensor is autonomous. It sends information to the user’s phone or tablet through a Near Field Communication (NFC) wireless connection. The application is free and available on iOS and Android. It can store three months of data and recommend sunscreen (L’Oréal brand) as needed. To activate UV Sense, simply scan the sensor while using the application. Users must first register their prototype by giving information about their skin. They can also indicate planned activities, such as walking, swimming, sunbathing, etc.

The small capsule features Professor Rogers’ MC10 biometric technology: data collection combined with data analysis technologies using machine learning. This allows miniaturization of the medical diagnostic equipment in order to use it outside of clinical areas and to take less intrusive measurements.

According to the World Health Organization, “at present, between 2 and 3 million non-melanocytic skin cancers and 132,000 malignant melanomas are recorded each year worldwide.” In this video, Guive Balooch, director of L’Oréal’s Beauty Incubator and a doctor in biomedical engineering, reminds us that the sun’s rays affect the skin even during a cloudy day and are responsible for early aging.

Hanen Hattab

Author's profile

Hanen Hattab is a PhD student in Semiology at UQAM. Her research focuses on subversive and countercultural arts and design practices such as artistic vandalism, sabotage and cultural diversions in illustration, graphic arts and sculpture.

Author profile


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