Sunshine-Monitoring Wearable Tells Users When They Need Protection


SunFriend aims to combat skin cancer by warning wearers when they have reached maximum safe UV exposure

Vashti Hallissey
  • 12 august 2014

The saying “you can have too much of a good thing” is never truer than with sunshine. Even if you are a sun-worshipper, there is a limit to the amount of UV rays your body can handle. A new wearable tells you exactly when you have had enough sunlight, making sure that you enjoy its benefits without risking your health.

SunFriend is a waterproof device that tracks the amount of sunlight you are exposed to and can be personalized to the user. You set your skin’s sensitivity level to one of eleven levels, from fair to dark, and wear the device on your wrist.

The device contains eleven LEDS that light up and flash when you are reached the maximum sun exposure, warning the user to apply sun cream, put on some clothes or to step into the shade.

There are many health tracking wearables, measuring anything from how you feel to what you have eaten but this is the first to tell you when to take a break from the sunshine. It is designed to curb the risk of skin cancer from over-exposure and also to take advantage of the sunlight.

In the media, we hear a lot about the dangers of spending too much time in the sun but little about not getting enough. SunFriend Corporation wants to encourage people to enjoy the benefits of the sunshine, such as topping up levels of Vitamin D, lowering blood pressure and reducing Seasonal Affective Disorder.


The website explains:

When you cover up too much, stay indoors or wear sunscreen, you prevent the UVB from reaching your skin and providing the necessary synthesis of Vitamin D from taking place, thus denying your body one of the essential building blocks for a healthy immune system.

SunFriend enables users to balance the level of UVA and UVB light that their bodies absorb, getting the advantages of sunshine without the dangerous side effects. Users can check their daily UVA and UVB light dosage at any time by pressing a button on the back of the device.

The SunFriend is a much more scientific approach to judging when to apply sun cream than whether you feel burnt or if the sun looks bright. It’s excellent way to ensure that you soak up the rays safely.


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