Summer’s here and the beach is calling. You roll out your towel maybe take a dip in the ocean and lie down on your towel. It’s hot so you apply sunscreen straight away, but the heat gets the best of you and you find yourself drifting off.
You awaken as the sun goes down and though you can’t see just yet, you can tell the sun’s got you.
Or perhaps you're having too much of a good time a summer music festival and forget to reapply the sunscreen because you’re too in the moment.
We’ve all done it.
And now three Scientists from the University of New South Wales have created a simple stick sensor that will detect when it’s right about time to get out of the sun or slip slop slap.
The very simple device can be printed cheaply from any normal inkjet printer using a special concoction of food dye and titanium dioxide – the active ingredient in many sunscreen.
The clever patch will turn from the blue of the food colouring to white, when you’ve been baking for too long. Professor Gooding explained to the ABC:
It's smart because when UV light hits the piece of paper, the ink loses its colour.
There are variations of the device that take into account skin tone and whether you’ve put on sunscreen.
The scientists believe the sensor will be on chemist selves in the next year or so.
The device is so well constructed that it was one of the finalists for the Eureka prize, for young Australian science ingenuity.
No more lobster-red skin.