The latest wearable gadget doesn't measure steps or heart rate, it measures your time in the sun. Specifically, Netatmo's June bracelet has a UV sensor to track how much exposure you're getting and recommends the appropriate protection, be it sunscreen, sun glasses or a wide-brim hat. It costs $99 in the US, and you can find it online for £80 in the UK and AU$140 in Australia.
The June hails from European company Netatmo, which also makes a smart thermostat. The company has been working with weather products for several years and debuted an early version the June at CES 2014. The June only works with the iPhone 4S and newer, running iOS 7 and above, and there's no Android availability yet.and a
I volunteered to review the June because with my fair skin I rarely tan and almost always burn if I spend too much time in direct sunlight. While I slather on sunscreen at the beach or an outdoor festival, I frequently forgo it in my day to day life. I was hoping the June would change that, but as I learned, it's not the best tool for that.
The June looks more like a piece of jewelry and less like a health tracker. The design is undeniably feminine, with a shiny metal jewel (Netatmo calls it a centerpiece) and thin wristband that wraps around your wrist twice. Netatmo compares the centerpiece's design to a diamond and indeed the metal housing for the sensor is faceted like a cut gem. There's a clasp on the black that slides onto the wristband and it can also attach to a pocket or shirt collar. The June comes in three colors, gold, silver and dark gray and I tested the gold model.
It comes with two black straps, one made of leather and the other silicone. Both are long enough to fit around wrists with a circumference between 6.1 and 7.4 inches (about 16 to 19cm). It fit comfortably and securely around my small wrist. While the silicone band feels soft and well made, the leather band just felt cheap.
In the box you get the June, two straps, a small carrying pouch and a proprietary USB charging cable. The flat end of the charging cable slips under the June's clasp to charge it, which takes about 12 hours using a wall charger. The battery is said to last for a full month on a single charge, though I got warnings my battery was low after a few days.
While the June can get wet from a splash of water or sweat, it's not waterproof, so you can't wear it while swimming.
How it works
Embedded in the centerpiece is the UV sensor, which picks up the rays you're getting when you're outside through the small grill on the front of the June. The measurements it gets from sunlight exposure are then sent to the accompanying June iOS app using Bluetooth LE. In the app is where you'll find recommendations about when you should apply protection and when to get out of sun.
The June wakes up every morning with the sunrise and goes into sleep mode at sunset, with the times determined by your location. You can also shake it to wake it up. It begins recording your activity as soon as it wakes up and seamlessly detects when you're indoors versus outdoors without you needing to do anything.