Health-centric wearables are moving further away from the well-tilled ground of exercise and activity trackers all the time. There’s no shortage of ways that this sort of technology can be used to enhance and augment the way people look at and take care of their health, so there’s plenty of room in the marketplace for unique, and perhaps niche, ideas that might only have a small audience. One of the most exciting aspects of services like IndieGogo and Kickstarter is that products and devices that only target a very small audience can find that audience and, as such, gain the funding that they need to become a reality. The SunSprite is one of many exciting new devices that perhaps wouldn’t have come about if it weren’t for crowdfunding.
The device was inspired by a very simple principle; exposure to natural sunlight has major health benefits that many aren’t all that aware of. Of course, we know that it’s not right to be cooped up inside all day, but how many of us really know what the sun does for us—and how much of it’s benefits we’re getting? That’s where the SunSprite comes in, tracking just how much bright light and UV exposure you’re getting, and delivering that information to you intuitively.
Using the SunSprite is very easy: simply clip it onto your cuff, your collar or the strap of your bag, and it’ll start recording the information it needs to. Its magnetic clasp is super-strong, so you can be safe in the knowledge it’s not going to fall off and go missing. It really is quite self-dependent—it even rather cannily uses solar power to charge itself while it’s recording UV levels and the like. The SunSprite tracks both UV light and visible light, and then sends that information to your smartphone for you to view in an easy to digest format. Pleasant charts and graphs will give you all you need to know on the subject, as well as offering guidance as to how much light and UV you should be getting, and tips on how to achieve those goals.
While it might not be the sort of instantly attractive concept as something like an exercise tracker, the benefits of the SunSprite are manifold. Bright light is something that most people simply don’t get enough of, and it can affect everything about your day to day life—your mood, your stress levels and your general focus are all affected by how much bright light you’re getting, so it would be wise for all of us to have a little bit more information about just how much we’re exposed to it. There’s also a two-prong effect on your energy levels; bright light helps the body regulate the secretion of melatonin, which can affect the quality of our sleep. It also increases our general energy levels. These two things combined mean that giving your body the exposure that it needs to bright light can really change how you feel in the morning and how you operate throughout the day—but the first step towards making that change is understanding how much your body is getting and how much it needs.
All of this functionality stands alongside the device’s capability to measure your exposure to UV rays. We’re generally a bit more well-educated on the subject of UV light, with sun cream and summer holidays being our biggest exposure to the harm that it can do for us. Even so, most of us will often infer how much UV light we’re being hit by based on how sunny we think it is or how warm we feel. This, clearly, isn’t the most scientific way to make decisions that could have a major impact on the health of our skin—but using the SunSprite, we can get in-depth readouts on UV levels beamed straight to our phone, allowing us to make far more well informed decisions about how to protect our skin and how much time to spend out in the sun.
The SunSprite is a device that would be very useful to just about anyone, whether you’re worried about spending too much time outdoors in direct sunlight or not enough. It’s very easy to keep clipped onto your person or a bag, and that’s all you need to do to gain some insight into how much light is hitting you. There’s really no good reason not to make this device a part of your life; it gives you easy to use information and it’s not invasive at all when its gathering that info—data that could prove to have considerable health benefits for you and your loved ones. The very well designed mobile app—created by the same developers as the much-praised RunKeeper—works on the same principles of simplicity and ease of use that the device itself does. Anyone, no matter how much experience you have with wearable devices or any other sort of tech, will be able to get a lot out of the SunSprite. It’s hugely important for a health product like this to be able to be utilized by as many people as possible, so it’s a credit to the designers of this device that they’ve succeeded in that respect.
The SunSprite comfortably managed its funding goal of $50,000 USD back in April, and since then it’s been full steam ahead for the development team to iron out any final kinks with its design and begin manufacturing the product. Being healthy is certainly ‘in’ at the moment, and the SunSprite looks to be in a prime position to take full advantage of the renewed interest that people have in keeping their bodies in tip-top condition. It’s different enough from the sort of products that we’ve seen in this niche of the wearables market, but it still has the same sort of appeal that something like the FitBit carries with it. Retail pricing and a release date are unknown as of the time of writing, but you can learn more about the device, as well as keep up with all the latest updates as it approaches its launch on the official SunSprite web site.