First Selectman Welcomes Digital SOLaware™ Sun Safety Display at Branford Point Beach
Branford’s new SOLaware™ Display at Branford Point Beach.
Branford, CT – Branford Point Beach regulars will notice something new during their next visit – on August 2, the town received its first SOLaware™ Display, a modular sun safety education system that measures the local UV radiation level in real-time and displays the average time until viewers can expect to experience skin damage, if preventative actions are not taken immediately. This new technology will help to remind beach visitors to protect themselves from the sun’s dangerous UV rays.
First Selectman, James B. Cosgrove, visited Branford Point to commemorate the display’s installation. Cosgrove stated that: “In Branford, we really appreciate the quality of life we have here – the parks, beaches, events on the green. With this new technology, we can help to make residents aware that they need to be mindful of how harmful over-exposure to the sun can be while enjoying the many outdoor activities the town has to offer.”
Left to right: Terence Elton, Special Projects – Economic Development, Town of Branford; Barbara Naclerio, Health Educator, East Shore Health District; Alex Palluzzi Jr., Director of Recreation, Branford Department of Parks and Recreation; James B. Cosgrove, First Selectman, Town of Branford; Ferenc Fazekas, SOLaware™ Technologies Project Lead; Christina McGrath, SOLaware™ Technologies Marketing and Communication Specialist.
Indeed, Branford’s rich history as a shoreline community means that many locals enjoy their summer days by swimming, sailing, fishing, and relaxing in the sun. Unfortunately, this can lead to too much exposure to UV rays – the most preventable risk factor contributing to the development of skin cancer. Christina McGrath, Marketing and Communications Specialist with SOLaware™ Technologies and resident of Branford, noted that “It’s easier to remember sun protection when you’re on vacation in a sunny destination – but when you live on the shoreline, you’re used to casually visiting the beach and spending time outdoors, so you don’t always necessarily remember to protect yourself.”
Barbara Naclerio, Health Educator for the East Shore Health District, commented that the eye-catching digital display would help to reach the community in new way, as it would be “more effective than a traditional flyer or Facebook post, because it’s much more interactive.” Naclerio added that the East Shore Health District also plans to begin offering free sunscreen with the display, as “people don’t always remember to bring sunscreen, and having a place that offers it for free means there is almost no excuse not to protect yourself from the sun.”
The Department of Parks and Recreation also hopes to bring the device to the Branford Town Green, noted Alex Palluzzi Jr., Director of Recreation. Palluzzi commented that the Green would be an “ideal spot for the SOLaware™ Display, given the high volume of visitors spending time outside during the summer.”
The Town of Branford was an early supporter of SOLaware™ Technologies, a project initially conceived by students at the Quinnipiac University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2016. Terence Elton, Branford Economic Development Department Head, commented that “SOLaware™ Tech is an excellent example of how the entrepreneurial spirit is nourished and supported by our academic institutions, government agencies, and business community to develop products and services for our 21st century economy.”
Branford joins Darien, Guilford, Middletown, North Haven, and Wallingford in SOLaware™ Technologies’ 2018 Summer Pilot Program. Milford will be the next community to receive a display. The Pilot is still open to local businesses and governments.
About SOLaware™ Technologies:
SOLaware™ Technologies was started at the Quinnipiac University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the mission to “Raise awareness about sun exposure via digital technologies™.” Their first product, the SOLaware™ Display, is a modular sun safety education system that informs about local UV level, educates about preventative steps, and provides protection through access to sunscreen. The Displays are leased to local businesses and governments to help lower the risks of sunburns and skin cancer in their communities.