July 29, 2006 The modern two-piece swimsuit or bikini was invented circa 1945 in Paris, and was subsequently named after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific where the French were testing nuclear weapons. It took another decade or more for the swimsuit to move into regular usage though, with most recognising sex siren Brigitte Bardot’s appearance in the movie “And God created Woman” as the catalyst which saw it accepted into modern culture.

Apart from getting significantly smaller, the bikini hasn’t evolved much in its 60 year reign of popularity, selling more than 30 million units a year in the United States and presumably hundreds of millions across the planet. Now a new simple function offered by Solestrum is pointing the way for the future of useful wearable technology – despite some untrue claims elsewhere in the media, the US$140 bikini offers the wearer real time UV readings on a belt-mounted read-out. The belt is the entire unit, and is made from a smart fabric that detects UV and transmits to the display. Next month, Solestrom will release a new version of the suit, which emits a beep at the UV level programmed by the user.