New gadget measures UV levels and enables vitamin D exposure.
Creators say the "sunfriend" was made to cancel the need for sunscreen. While sunscreen protects skin from harmful effects of the sun, it also stops the skin from absorbing UVB rays used to make vitamin D.
Some say this is causing a worldwide deficiency.
UVB rays give you vitamin D, and UVA rays tend to give you more sun damage.
Vitamin D is important for managing the body's calcium levels and maintaining healthy bones. Some say it also has an effect on breast cancer, arthritis and diabetes.
So to use the watch-like gadget, you input your estimated skin sensitivity, on a scale of 1 to 11. The LED lights lining the watch then illuminate as UV exposure increases.
When it is time to get out of the sun, the LED lights begin to flash.
So far, researchers say the gadget could really be a useful safeguard against sunburn. But one researcher says there are possible shortcomings, including that since it is worn on the wrist it may not accurately detect the amount of sunlight hitting the rest of the body.
The latest "sunfriend" version is $50, but a newer model is coming out shortly. It will have Bluetooth capability, linking to a smart phone app.
(sources: sunfriend.com, gizmag.com, grandst.com, youtube, ubergizmo.com, geeky-gadgets.com, DM)
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