The future of wearable trackers might involve nail art


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Photo: Instagram/@lorealbeautyforall

If you thought a high-tech temporary tattoo that could protect you from the sun was cool, just wait: The latest in wearable tech comes in nail-art form and its intended powers go far beyond that of saving your skin from harmful UV rays.

This week, La Roche-Posay, a skin-care brand under the L’Oréal arm, launched UV Sense, a circular wearable tracker that’s so tiny, you can stick it on your fresh new mani. According to Allure, the itty-bitty device updates you on everything from UV exposure and pollution to humidity and allergen levels—all of which can play a role in the health of your skin. Even better, the Sense doesn’t even need to be charged and will stay put for up to two weeks, if you want it to.

“We’re providing the consumer the ability to reapply the adhesive and wear it again and again. It will last a few months or longer, and is very environmentally clean to dispose of—it doesn’t even have a battery.” —Guive Balooch of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator

“We’re providing the consumer the ability to reapply the adhesive and wear it again and again,” said Guive Balooch, who led the creation of UV Sense at L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator. “It will last a few months or longer, and is very environmentally clean to dispose of—it doesn’t even have a battery.”

So how does this thing work? Surprisingly, it doesn’t use Bluetooth or even use a battery (it’s pretty environmentally friendly). Rather, it uses “near-field communication,” which Balooch said is the same thing that enables key cards in hotels to swipe and open doors. (Here, the key is the tracker, and the lobby desk is your phone.) If you want to see the data, you can just open the app on your phone when its nearby, and everything will be there, ready for you, like magic.

Balooch noted the device’s environmental tracking capabilities could come in great use when you’re going on a run, as the app will update you throughout your session of UV changes or other notable shifts, “and it will recommend lifestyle or product solutions for those exposures,” he said.

This wearable—which will be available in limited supplies the US this summer and globally in 2019 for what Balooch claims will be some price below $50—might be small, but it could potentially save you from skin cancer and other life-threatening issues down the road. Plus, it dresses up one of your fingers to look like super-detailed nail art. Seems like a can’t-lose kind of look.

Here’s why you should give seaweed sunscreen a try. And while you’re at it, be aware of the one place you’re probably forgetting to apply it.

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