Oh hang on! All the fuss around the new La Roche Posay Wearable UV Patch, unveiled in Las Vegas today, sounds completely marvellous, until you realise that the dye sensor driven patch needs to be used with a mobile phone. Yes, you need the app.
The chances are that the places you are most likely to be concerned about excess sun exposure are the beach and the pool, or in a much sunnier place than you’d normally be. You would expect, I think, to be slathered in sun screen. So who exactly wants to get out their phone to check the app on sandy beach or by a wet pool with super slippy hands covered in SPF50?
In theory, UV patches are an awesome idea – something that gives you a direct indicator that you have had enough sun and need to take in some shade. Us Brits are notorious for being the lobsters on the beach – we don’t get nearly enough sun in the UK so when we find it we literally do bathe in it, often without thinking through the consequences, while we strip off to our bikinis.
Whether you’re a tanner or a non-tanner, nobody needs a big heart shaped white patch on their chest or arm, so unless you can tan through it, or you’re heavily into the reverse tan line trend, that’s a major flaw. It does, apparently, adhere over sunscreen, and stays on in the sea or pool.
Anyway, good luck with your slippy phones by the pool while you obsessively check your app when this launches later this year. This is a really simple, really good idea over-complicated by needing an app to go with it. You could just follow the usual UV rules and stay out of the sun during the middle of the day, cover up or use high SPF. None of those need an app – or even a phone. The one single plus is that it’s free. As is, er, staying out of the sun.
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I think you are being too hard on the patch, the idea has merit and they have to start somewhere. Who is to say the app will be on your phone and not your waterproof smart watch. Presumably LRP will be able to extract data from the app and overtime they should have some really good research material. I am quite excited about the progress that will come from all the data captured once we are all wearing smart watches that monitor our health.
Maybe it is a bit ahead of its time – but I’d be happier with just a patch (which is a great idea and already exists) that changed colour without the extra faff of the phone. But I am sure that plenty of people will love it especially if you are tech minded (which I’m not!) x
well, they kinda oblige you to have a smartphone…
I think this sounds like a great idea, well done LRP. Agree, perhaps not for the beach or pool, where you would generally know (and not care!) that you’re getting too many UV rays, but I think for every day wear, when you’re out and about and perhaps not realising how much sun exposure you’re getting (shopping, walking dog, BBQ, picnic etc) it would be of use. I’d happily wear it on the inside of my wrist, which doesn’t tan, but maybe it wouldn’t work as well there?! Interesting. Thanks Jane for reporting about this so quickly.
I think that Sarah G has an intriguing idea. I personally think that this would have a far better application at home in the UK then when you’re abroad. The few times I’ve been burnt has actually been on a sunny day at home because I haven’t been as rigorous with sunscreen as I would on holiday. I would say that the most of the sunburns seen are due to the odd sunny day here then abroad. Perhaps it would remind us to respect the sunlight that we are exposed to day after day when we are at home (when we get the sun of course!)
Actually, I’ve just been reading something on free sunscreen dispensers which I love the idea of far more than an app. If they were located at beachy hotspots, it’s a marketing dream as well as consumer friendly. I just don’t get the app thing but thinking about it, lots of people do use health apps to record walking etc, so if you are the kind of person who is already using apps to monitor your health it makes more sense. Be interesting to see how many people download the app.
Who makes the patch that doesn’t need an app? I hadn’t seen either patch nor noticed the tech event in Las Vegas so I learnt lots from your post yesterday 🙂
Have a look at Sunburnalert.com x
Surely this is a far more elegant solution – it even notifies your boyfriend when to top up your sunscreen!!