Portland Business Journal - "[The Ultra engineers] use their expertise to create wearable devices that can monitor things like vitamin D deficiency so people don’t have to end up in the doctor’s office with a medical mystery (vitamin D deficiency). Violet, does just that. It tracks the wearers sun exposure to monitor vitamin D production."
The Daily Dot - "If you get in early with support, the device is quite a deal, and we’re excited to see such projects pushing the functionality of what wearable tech can do."
Brit + CO - "Like most things in life, sun exposure requires balance. This new wearable tech by Violet will monitor your exposure and report back to you based on your personal skin type and sun tolerance."
The Active Times - "This handy little clip-on will tell you how much vitamin D your body
naturally generates from the sunlight and when it’s time to cover up
with more protection."
Gizmodo - "…there are quite a few reasons why a gadget like the Violet might make
sense. The real-time tracking of absorbed UV radiation as well as (data
including) produced vitamin D (is sent via alerts on) the iOS and
Android app once you have reached the daily limit."
Smartwatch Pro - "The usefulness of this device is undeniable: lovers of sunbathing -
(get) more than enough, but not everyone knows the measurement and, as a
consequence, expose themselves to serious danger."
Computer Magazine - "Together with the measurement of UV, Violet also calculates the amount
of vitamin D acquired by the body when exposed to the sun: a very
important element for the health of each of us, as our mothers taught us
Morningstar - "Ultra serves health conscious individuals who are concerned about the
detrimental effects of sun over-exposure (i.e. skin aging and skin
cancer), as well as the risks of under-exposure, including vitamin D
deficiency and depression."
What is Violet?
Violet is the first wearable device that provides customized user guidance on optimal sun exposure. In sync with a mobile phone app, Violet monitors your real-time UV exposure, alerts you before the measured UV dosage approaches a limit, and calculates your daily natural vitamin D production. By measuring both detrimental and beneficial effects of UV light, Violet helps achieve optimal sun balance.
Growing evidence has shown that vitamin D is vital for good overall health. Many studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to numerous diseases, including cancers. Your body can make its own vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight.
We need balanced sun exposure for our well-being. How do we know if we have too much or too little sun exposure? That’s why we developed Violet. It eliminates the guesswork by quantifying both detrimental and beneficial effects of sun. Violet is not just another gadget to generate data. It is designed as a solution to encourage behavioral change toward better health by minimizing the risks while maximizing the benefits of sunlight exposure. Our goal is to help you safely enjoy the sun without fear and to "live ultra healthy.”
Less is more
Violet is designed and developed using lean methodologies with human-centered design principles. Design is at the core of our development process. For over a year, the prototype has undergone numerous iterations based on consumer feedback to perfect Violet to make the user experience as simple as possible. You don’t need to be a geek to use the device and understand the results. We believe less is more!
Smart phone app
Violet syncs with a mobile app compatible with both iOS and Android devices. The app configures Violet and wirelessly receives all the data from the device for processing and storage. We are working hard on making the app design as intuitive as possible by optimizing the user experience and simplifying the user interface. The app notifies the user only when needed and discretely collects the data from Violet to analyze it and generate personalized advice to optimize user's sun experience.
We are working on several exciting
next-generation features such as expert guide/forecast on optimal sun
exposure, crowdsourcing of measured data for maximum accuracy, and a
dynamic SPF model taking into account sunscreen wearing off.
Where are we now ?
The prototype design of Violet is complete. The device firmware and mobile app are functional.
We have evaluated and validated the UV sensor chip.
We have developed proprietary algorithms to measure UV dose and vitamin D production, taking into account various personal factors.
We have completed 7 iterations of the hardware design.
We have developed a prototype app for the iPhone and built the backend server infrastructure for our secure cloud service.
We have run early user tests to validate the algorithms.
Every Violet being shipped will include two accessories: a clip and a wristband. Currently, we are in the process of finishing the industrial design of these components.
Where will the money go?
We have set a goal of $100,000, which will allow us to begin manufacturing and make Violet available as early as Spring 2015. Every dollar raised through Kickstarter will go directly to product improvement and mass manufacturing of Violet devices.
Develop an Android app to sync with Violet
Manufacturing setup cost (tooling)
Controlled user tests supervised by medical professionals
*Click to see - Summer Skin - Endless Summer Scarf - Plum & Grey
*Click to see - Doc Martin's of Maui NexGen Sunscreen: SPF 36, UVA+UVB protection, water resistant, hypoallergenic, reef-safe, non-toxic.
We have assembled a dream team. We are entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, software developers, dermatologist, and designers. Ultra's team has published over 200 research papers in the multidisciplinary fields of dermatology and biomedical engineering and holds over 50 granted or pending U.S. patents.
Our project has a few potential challenges that we intend to overcome with your support:
- Water-resistance - While Violet is designed with the concept of waterproof/water-resistant from day one, the process starts when we begin to manufacture the product. It depends on the manufacturing capabilities and some necessary trials and errors to make sure that we deliver high quality waterproof/water-resistant products to our backers.
- Product material - Violet is designed to be an elegant wearable device that can be worn anywhere and blended with any style of clothing. We plan to use anodized aluminum as the main material for the product housing case. But as we know from the basic physics, a metal case may shield the radio signal. Our team Violet has developed some creative engineering techniques to overcome this challenge. However, further tests both on the bench and in the manufacturing line need to be done to confirm our design.
- Improvement of the algorithm - Our proprietary algorithm can accurately measure the accumulated UV dosage and vitamin D production, taking into account individual factors such as skin type, clothing coverage, sunscreen usage, etc. Our research team is working hard to further improve the algorithm to make it more intelligent (e.g. context-based advice and prediction) and more robust against unexpected signal disturbance (e.g. due to transient shading or covering of the UV sensors). We will also need to further optimize the algorithm parameters based on a larger user database.
From the app on your phone, you can easily determine your skin type by either using the in-app wizard based on Fitzpatrick Skin Test or simply choosing the description that fits you best. Some users with pre-existing medical conditions should consult with their dermatologist to determine their correct skin type.
Playing at the beach? No problem! The Violetis water-resistant and you can even shower with it. The Violet has been designed with the waterproof concept from the beginning and we want to deliverthe best experience for our users. We are currently working with manufacturers to try to make it water proof before shipping.
Yes. The effectiveness of sunscreen reduced over time because of activities such as swimming, toweling, or excessive sweating and rubbing. Therefore, sunscreen should be regularly reapplied to avoid skin damage. Violet will vibrate or send a message to your phone to quietly alert you when your accumulated UV dosage is close to the safe limit.
Yes. In either the Violet App or on the device itself you can set the SPF rating of the sunscreen you are wearing. This allows Violet to more precisely calculate your accumulated UV dosage and vitamin D production.
Violet uses a standard coin cell CR2032 battery. The device has a long battery life estimated to be 6 months in typical use. You can easily replace the battery by opening the battery compartment located at the back of the device.
Battery life will depend on usage. For normal usage (wear Violet every day, sync data once a day, Violet’s battery can last for over 6 months. Our development team is still working hard to increase the battery longevity.
All data collected by Ultra Inc. belongs to you, and only you. The only data we collect, with your consent, is your body profile without your name and accumulated history data which will be used as the input to our algorithm to give you pertinent advice to help you optimize your sun exposure. This data needs to be sent to our servers for storage and easy access from different devices by users. The data will be encrypted and securely stored. We will not share it with any other entity without the user's permission or a court order.
Ultra Inc. may use the data for the purpose of internal research and feature development.
We started this project because we believe we can quantify the environmental impact on our bodies. We are in the business of developing solutions to help users be healthier not sharing your personal data.
Yes. Our algorithms for determining vitamin D production have been developed based on the latest published scientific research. We have working closely with leading scientists in this area to create our method for personalizing our calculations based on individual factors such as your skin type, age, body size, clothing coverage, and sunscreen usage, etc.
Sure! You can either wear Violet yourself or set it in the sun nearby. From your phone, you can create individual profiles for each of the children and the app will monitor in real time their sun exposure. You will receive alerts on your phone when anyone needs additional sun protection based on their own personalized profile. You can also check the amount of vitamin D production and safe sun exposure time for each individual child.
PERFECT DAY IN THE SUN– You will receive (1) Violet, plus (1) one Doc Martin's of Maui NexGen Sunscreen: SPF 36, UVA+UVB protection, water resistant, hypoallergenic, reef-safe, non-toxic. Free shipping in US.
QUANTIFIED SELFERS – As a QSer, you will receive one (1) Violet and a passcode to access all measured data through our API. You will be invited to participate in our beta testing program and have access to new features prior to their formal release. Free shipping in US.
FUN IN THE SUN – We’d love to hear your ideas! Let’s start a dialogue on how we can work together to achieve win-win. The creators of Violet invite you to experience an epic Portland outing with dinner at one of the famed McMenamins brewpubs and a Timbers FC match. They’ll also send you home with two (2) Violets. Travel and lodging not included.