This could mean an end to that signature Irish summer look of beetroot red or shiny lobster! Researchers at Queen’s University, Belfast, have come up with an early warning sunburn indicator bracelet that could mean an end to that dangerous and nasty tomato look.

The strip of plastic contains “smart’ ink, which turns colorless from an initial blue color just before exposure to too much ultraviolet light from the sun, prompting you to move into the shade before you burn.

The plastic strip, worn as a bracelet, changes color at a speed that depends on the wearer’s skin type and can be worn at the same time as sun lotion, allowing users to enjoy the sun while avoiding unnecessary risks.

The technology was developed by Dr David Hazafy from Queen’s University’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, who has been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise fellowship, which gives academics £85,000 each to develop their research into viable commercial products.

Dr Hazafy’s spin-out company, SunCatalyst Laboratories, uses photo-catalysts which work by harvesting energy from ambient sunlight to drive useful chemical reactions, such as destroying bacteria or pollutants and changing the color of dyes.

In another of our photocatalyst-based technologies , the light-driven antibacterial plastic films could be used in a range of materials including hospital curtains, flooring, tiles and glass, to create a more sterile, safer environment.

This is big news for us people!

Lest we forget the meme that went viral that's uncannily true:

*Originally published March 2015.