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Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds. Fred Potter, CEO and founder of the lifestyle consumer electronics company Netatmo, learned this the hard way.

After spending an overcast day at the beach, Potter came home to a nasty surprise sunburn. Those clouds he thought would protect him from turning into a crisp hadn’t done jack. Potter got an idea: what if there was a way to measure and track one’s sun exposure in real time?

The JUNE UV-detecting bracelet was born.

The bracelet, a simple double-wrap leather band with a gemstone-like UV sensor, monitors your sun exposure and sends personalized notifications to your phone. You might get an alert that it’s time to re-apply sunscreen, put on a hat, or the ultimate warning: seek shade now.

The app also features a summary of your daily sun exposure, allowing you to see when the UV rays were most intense.

Knowing that the bracelet’s design had to be just as strong as its SPF-detecting technology, Potter and Netatmo developers pulled in French jewelry designer Camille Toupet, who has worked in the past with big names like Louis Vuitton and Swarovski, to help with the project. JUNE debuted in January 2014 as a personal sun coach.

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“Companies are realizing that in order for people to want to wear these gadgets as an everyday accessory, they must be stylish and it should not look like a piece of technology,” said Catherine Jolivet, who led the strategic development for JUNE. “All wearable technology must have two components. First, it must have a design that appeals to people … Second, it must be useful every day.”

When you consider that a person’s risk for melanoma–the most dangerous form of skin cancer–doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns, tracking one’s sun exposure sounds like a very useful technology.

Consider this: even when we think we’re safe, we might still be exposed to UV rays. Some wavelengths can penetrate glass (explaining why frequent drivers often have more freckles on the left side of the faces), as well as clothing.

“People are conscious of the need to use sun protection on vacation and sunny days,” said Jolivet.“But there is a lack of awareness to protect oneself in everyday life,”

The JUNE gemstone comes in three colors: gold, platinum and a dark grey called “gunmetal”. The package includes a silicon band for outdoor activities. The bracelet is rain, splash and sweat resistant. But remember to take it off before you go swimming. JUNE can’t be dunked in water.

At this time, the app is only compatible with Phone 4s or later. JUNE is available for $129 at Netatmo.com, or for as low as $75 on Amazon.com.

 

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