UVLens is an app that informs you when you need to be most careful out in the sun, reducing your risk of sunburn.
Summer is upon us, and it’s a great time to be outdoors! However, summer is also the time we are most at risk of getting sunburnt. The sun contains UV radiation which not only causes temporary reddening and discomfort but causes permanent damage to our skin cells which leads to premature ageing and skin cancer.
There’re plenty of ways to protect you from it, including sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and shade. However, it’s not always clear when you need to use them, and it’s not practical to have them on 24/7. What makes this even more challenging is that you cannot see or feel UV, and can get burnt on a cloudy day.
We created UVLens to address these shortfalls. UVLens provides a forecast of the UV conditions over the day and informs you of your personal risk based on your skin type. It also recommends appropriate sun protection for the forecasted conditions.
You can find the UV index on several weather reports, and there are plenty of apps out there that inform you of the UV index, so how are we different? We found that many people couldn’t relate to the UV index, especially if they’ve never been exposed to it before. A “maximum UV index of 8 today” doesn’t mean a lot to many people, and is too general. We wanted to make the UV levels clear and easy for people to understand. UVLens represents the UV intensity in an intuitive 5-flame scale (since most people are familiar with the 5-star rating), and gives people an idea of what it means to them through a burn time, e.g. you could burn in 10 minutes.
UVLens works anywhere in the world, even as far as Antarctica! The global availability is very useful for people travelling to countries with very high UV index all year round, such as South-east Asia or other countries around the tropics.
Try our live forecasting web app here, no download required. http://app.uvlens.com
Daniel Xu, Ming Cheuk and Richard McLean co-founded Spark 64 Ltd in 2013, the company behind UVLens. Living in New Zealand, they were very much aware of the problem of UV radiation and getting sunburnt, with New Zealand having one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. They wanted to address this issue using the latest technology. The team entered in the Microsoft Imagine Cup in 2013 with a wearable UV monitor and won the national finals, then went on to forming the company shortly after.
Since then, the team had grown and developed the technology further, with a focus on providing digital information and tools to teach people about UV and sun safety. In partnership with Banana Boat sunscreen, over 100 UV sensors were installed around the country to protect preschool children from the sun. The initiative received a lot of local press coverage and praise by teachers. They then went on to develop a global forecasting system that could provide UV forecasts anywhere around the world, five days in advance. This was used to provide forecasts several popular events including the Ocean Swim Series, Rhythm and Vines music festival, Tarawera Ultra marathon. Now, these forecasts have been made available through the newly released UVLens app.
Executive Team Biography
Daniel Xu — CEO
Daniel did a PhD in bio-mechatronics Engineering. He was awarded the AMP National Scholarship as one of 10 people doing great things in New Zealand. He enjoys finding challenging problems to solve and is the inventor of a number of patents. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing, hockey, football and exploring the outdoors.
Ming Cheuk — CTO
Ming leads the R&D at Spark 64. He has a background in Mechatronics Engineering where he graduated top of his class. In his spare time, he volunteers teaching software courses to tertiary students through the Microsoft Student Accelerator programme. He was invited to represent New Zealand as the Student Partner at the MSP world summit.
Richard McLean — Executive Chair
Richard is an experienced director and a specialist in the development of IP based global businesses. He has over 30 years of solid commercial experience and a passion for rapid growth and the creation of company value. Over time he has played an active role in the success of many New Zealand technology companies.
- Daily top 3 on Product Hunt (https://www.producthunt.com/tech/uvlens)
- 10,000 downloads across Android and iOS one week after launching globally on Product Hunt
- Featured on Apple App Store, 19 July 2016
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