Smartsun wristband turns pink when it's time to make for the shade


May 8, 2014

Ultraviolet light causes a chemical reaction in the Smartsun wristband, alerting the wearer to when they have had too much sun

Ultraviolet light causes a chemical reaction in the Smartsun wristband, alerting the wearer to when they have had too much sun

Balancing a healthy amount of time in the sun while avoiding overexposure to its harmful UV rays can be a a difficult task. Indeed, the challenge of finding this happy medium has produced a bevy of of UV-detecting wristbands, such as the UVeBand and the UVA+Sunfriend. Smartsun is the latest to join the ranks of such devices, alerting users to dangerous levels of UV exposure by changing color from yellow to pink when it's time to head indoors.

Though it has just made it to market, the Smartsun UV monitor has been some time in the making, having undergone two years of testing and development at Scotland's University of Strathclyde. It was here that its inventors, Professor Andrew Mills and Dr Michael McFarlane, developed the device and the chemical reaction that causes it to change color as it detects ultraviolet light.

The Smartsun band is designed for a single use, each beginning its life a yellow color, then shifting to a beige when approaching the UV threshold and, finally, becoming a fleshy pink when you need to cover up.

What causes this transformation is an acid-release agent that reacts to the levels of ultraviolet light. This in turn affects the pH levels in the material, causing a dye to respond and trigger the change in color. The company says that if applying sunscreen to your skin, it should also be applied to the band, as the levels of protection will be better aligned and it will take longer to change color as a result.

Smartsun has been taken from the lab-testing to the marketplace by Intellego Technologies, with packs of seven bands available for £6.99 (around US$12) apiece.

Source: University of Strathclyde, Smartsun

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches. All articles by Nick Lavars

I checked it with the company and apparently it will be sold for around 6.99 USD in North America also. I will give it a try.


It seems like a good way to not only keep from being sun burned but also to reduce the risk of skin cancer. I think it is an excellent and affordable idea.


"Smartsun wristband turns pink when it's time to make for the shade" After I turn pink I head for the shade too...


Is the New Zealand version pink out of the packet? Thanks Thomas Midgley! On the upside, with the mutation levels that we'll have to exhibit or all perish due to sun related cancers, we'll be the best suited for extraterrestrial exploration. Lead shielding? Save the mass mate, I'm a Kiwi! To infinity and beyond! ;) But yeah, cool product!

Craig Jennings

Nice idea, but what is the maximally recommended level of exposure? Surely that depends on the individual skin type. Somebody with very dark skin will be fine with much higher levels than somebody very light skinned. Or am I missing something here?

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