This fake fingernail can help people avoid sunburns

L'Oreal has unveiled a fingernail press-on that detects UV rays and sends wearers smartphone alerts about their sun exposure.

Give L’Oreal a hand. The French-based cosmetics company has unveiled a new product aimed at ending sunburns – and it involves a press-on fingernail.

Unlike the gaudy press-on nails of decades past, this tiny $40 sensor is only designed for the thumb, where it is placed to detect sunlight and warn wearers about their risk of sunburn.

The “fake fingernail” connects to the wearer’s smartphone through a contactless chip and sends alerts if sunbathers are at risk of getting sunburned. The smartphone app then stores the data to show how often users have been exposed to the sun over time.

The sensor is 2mm thick and attaches to the thumbnail, an optimal area to detect sunlight, The Telegraph reports. The sensor was designed with Northwestern University and is made up of a collection of sensors and silicon connectors that detect ultra violet rays.

The company rolled out the new product at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, an annual technology trade show attended by around 200,000 people.

The nail sensor is not the first sunburn detector for L’Oreal. Previously, the beauty company released a patch that users wore directly on their skin to measure sun exposure and detect harmful UV rays. L’Oreal said the gadget led to 34 percent of people applying sunscreen more often and 37 percent going into the shade more, The Telegraph reports.

L’Oreal plans to release the product in the UK in 2019. Until then, beach goers are just going to have to reapply sunscreen without their fingernail telling them to.

News Reporter

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