LAS VEGAS — L’Oréal is beginning a foray into the wearables realm, launching the My UV Patch, a stretchable skin sensor under the La Roche-Posay skin-care brand. The beauty giant announced its partnership with global tech company PCH at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show here on Wednesday.
Slated for release at the end of 2016 with no details on its distribution plan, the My UV Patch is slated to be a free of charge service to consumers, aiming to educate.
The project, which has been simmering for the past 12 to 18 months, veers away from the traditionally clunky designs of wearables on the market today. The super-thin, stretchable silicon patch serves as a sensor that can be placed anywhere on the body prone to sun damage. The skinlike adhesive is composed of electronics via 50-micron fibers and an image of a heart that is used to relay information to an app compatible with the Android and iPhone.
“Every time you take a photo of the patch, it will process the image of the heart and see what changes there have been in the color of it, and then the app will tell you how much UV exposure you have,” explained Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator. “It will let you know if you’ve been exposed to low, medium or high levels of UV rays with a visual of the levels of exposure. Every time you scan, it will show the accumulative amount of UV that you’ve been exposed to.”
PCH, which designs custom product solutions for start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, said it values the partnership with a powerhouse like L’Oréal.
“As a strong, and trusted beauty brand, L’Oréal has the consumer’s permission and trust to offer these types of intimate products that are worn on the body,”said Liam Casey, founder and chief executive officer of PCH. “Personalization is in its infancy, and will strengthen the consumer’s relationship with the brand, and lead to stronger customer loyalty.”
Returning the sentiment, Balooch explained the benefits on the beauty side. “PCH brings us the ability to manufacture beautiful technological products and we bring them the beauty side — which is the understanding of the beauty market, consumer, and the types of products that we want to create. It just makes perfect sense to work together. And at this stage, we don’t plan to charge for the service for the consumer because the technology is disposable so you’re able to remove after a few days. What we want to do is provide to the consumer the opportunity to educate them on their level of UV exposure and the ability to use this type of technology to change their behavior in terms of their lifestyle and to better their lives.”