Love the sun but hate the burn? A pool thermometer to monitor your UV exposure

Thermometers have been bobbing in swimming pools since back when “connected home” meant something nefarious and mob-related. They typically tell you whether the water is bath-like or you’re about to experience cold shock. But with the advent of the smart home, it was only a matter of time before someone souped up the one-trick pool thermometer. Vigilant took on the task with its LilyPad Wi-Fi pool thermometer and UV sensor, which the company unveiled at CES 2015.

The first function is fairly simple. If you’re at the office, dreaming of taking a dip, you can use the accompanying app, available for Android and iOS, to check the temperature of your pool. That feature alone might not come in handy all that often, so it’s the accompanying UV sensor that really sets the LilyPad apart.

Lots of people are concerned about skin cancer, especially when hanging by the pool. Water reflects 100 percent of UV rays, making it just as damaging as direct sunlight. Feedback from a UV sensor can raise users’ awareness about how much exposure they’re getting. The app takes it a step further with its Customized Profile and Health Management features.

First, rate each family member’s skin tone on the Fitzpatrick Scale, a classification of skin tone created by a dermatologist. Then the app takes into account those numbers and the information it’s receiving from the sensor; finally, it gives personalized sunscreen recommendations for every person.

Vigilant debuted a number of other connected devices, including a smart food analyzer called Poppy, which uses a scale to measure everything you eat. If you put an apple onto the scale, the app uses the weight and entered food type to give super-specific information, from sugars to carbs to sodium levels. You can then enter that information into your journal within the app, helping you keep track of your diet more closely. Based on everything we’ve consumed at CES, it would be a journal of shame in our case.

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