UV-measuring wrist band lets you know when to reapply sunscreen


March 7, 2013

The UVeBand is a UVA and UVB-measuring wrist band, that vibrates when it's time to apply more sunscreen

The UVeBand is a UVA and UVB-measuring wrist band, that vibrates when it's time to apply more sunscreen

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If you spend much time outdoors in the summer, then you doubtless know how important it is to wear sunscreen. That said, you probably also know that just applying it once before you first go outside isn’t good enough – for sufficient protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, periodic reapplications are also necessary. The UVeBand is a new wearable device, that’s designed to let you know when it’s time for those reapplications.

First of all, you might be thinking that you could just use the timer on your watch or phone as a reminder. Well, you could, although many people probably just wouldn’t bother. Additionally, the UVeBand isn’t simply a timer – it actually keeps track of the intensity of UVA and UVB rays, so its alert time will be recalculated if the sun goes behind the clouds, or if you move to a shadier area.

The device itself is a silicone-coated water-resistant band, that the user simply slaps onto their wrist. The band’s capacitive switching technology turns the device on upon contact with the skin – it also turns the band off again (and resets it) when it’s removed.

Once activated, the UVeBand’s integrated UV sensor measures incoming ultraviolet radiation via a small window, once every three seconds. An onboard processor keeps track of the cumulative exposure.

Based on a formula “developed by a leading dermatologist in the USA” (and in compliance with guidelines from the World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization), the wristband alerts the user when it’s time for them to apply more sunscreen, by vibrating for two minutes. The formula assumes that a sunscreen of SPF15 or higher is being used.

The wrist band also vibrates briefly once every 15 minutes, just to confirm that’s it’s working. Users don’t need to worry about recharging or replacing any batteries, as the device is powered by the sunlight that it’s monitoring.

UVeBand’s designers currently have a number of working prototypes, and are now raising production funds on Kickstarter. A pledge of £8 (US$12) will get you one, when and if the funding goal is reached.

More information is available in the video below.

Source: UVeBand

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

What a great invention and a very useful gadget, I just pledged bought 4 UVeBand's on Kickstarter for £60

Owen O' Mahony

Nice idea, but the wrist is often shaded by the body and I can't recall the last time I had sunburnt wrists, per se. Also the angle of incidence is usually much lower than it would be on your shoulders or head. Cyclists, maybe?


This message brought to you by makers of toxic sunscreen. This device will not work. Sunscreen is damaged by water, and a person's limit is determined by their vit d levels, Sunburn is a symptom of deficiency. This device does not separate UVA and UVB. UVB is essential for generating vit d.

btw if your shadow is more than 90 % in length, UVB is gone.

How about a device to measure x ray dose. There is a rumor that a brown dwarf is approaching.

Stewart Mitchell

UVeBand keeps track of the intensity of UVA and UVB rays, so its alert time will be recalculated based on the highest UV detected. This accounts for any difference in the angle of incidence between your wrist and other parts of your body.

Steve Tew

Let me know when your product is on the market. It seems to be better than the current wrist bands that only change color, although that's better than nothing.

Sarah Graven
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