Spinali Designs
Sunbathers input their skin type into a smartphone app which then sends an alert when they have spent too much time in the sun YouTube/Spinali Design

Say goodbye to sunburn thanks to the new revolutionary Spinali Bikini, which sends a text message alert to smartphones warning the user to top up on the suncream or seek shade.

The product is the brainchild of Marie Spinali, the head of Spinali Design in Mulhouse, eastern France, who claims that this is the world's first smart bikini to help people tan safely.

She told The Times: "The idea came to me very simply one day when I saw someone get burnt on the beach.

"I said, 'After all there are flower pots that tell you when the plants need the when the plants need watering, so we should invent something for then the sun is too hot.'"

The Spinali Bikini is equipped with a waterproof sensor that measures exposure to ultraviolent radiation and tells users when it thinks they may be in danger of burning, depending on their skin type.

Getting sunburnt can lead to long-lasting, wrinkle-inducing permanent damage and double the risk of developing forms of skin cancer.

Spinali said the product was not a "gimmick" and that Brazil and Australia were her prime target markets where spending time outdoors and on beaches is part of the culture.

Bikinis are priced between €149-€198 (£107-£143), and sunbathers can also buy smart beach towels variants for €99 (£71).

The swimsuit has come a long way. In 1946, Louis Réard, a French engineer unveiled a new two-piece, which he dubbed "bikini" after the US tested an atomic bomb off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

Claudine Blanchet-Bardom, the vice-chairwoman of the French National Union of Dermatologists, said the idea was "interesting", but advised that the best protection was to cover up as much as possible.