Sunshine is wonderful, but you can have too much of a good thing. This device measures it.
In Australia, 2 out of 3 people develop skin cancer. In the US, 1 in 5; in Canada, 1 in 7. That's what happens with chain migration from Northern Europe to sunnier climes; light-skinned bodies take a long time to evolve natural protection. But we also need sun to produce Vitamin D; what's a body to do to get the right balance?
A few years ago we showed the QTemp, a little clip on device paired with an app that measured how much UV you were getting and told you when enough was enough. After its inventors learned from its 25,000 users, it has been updated to the QSun, a smaller, more sophisticated device that lets you manage your sun exposure and vitamin D intake so that you can enjoy the sun without worry. It has a ring of LEDs and a buzzer to let you know when it is time to apply more sunscreen or get out of the sun.
As an advanced AI-powered wearable, the QSun device monitors and analyzes your sun exposure in real-time. The algorithm combines your current sun exposure with your skin type, environmental situation and sun safety habits to give you tailored recommendations.
But it's not just the little device, it's the amazing app that CEO and cofounder Dr. Neda Ghazi demonstrated in Ryerson University's DMZ business incubator in Toronto. After taking a selfie it is disturbingly accurate as it calculates the age of your skin and its health. You scan the barcode on your sunscreen and it tells you how much to apply and calculates how long it will last, after you tell it what you are wearing.
The app works even if you don't have the QSun device by tracking data from the nearest weather station, but obviously is not going to be as accurate and it won't track your sun exposure.
I expressed faux outrage after TreeHugger Katherine showed a photo of her son on a rock without a full sun-stopping body suit, but in fact, according to the Q-sun blog, protecting kids from over-exposure is a big deal from day one. The QSun device can "lets you know how long you and your kids can stay in the sun before getting sunburned, and how much sunscreen to apply based on height, weight, and clothing choice."