You might call it a ray of sunshine. When you can’t step out into the sun, you can now step into a high-tech pod that will deliver what you need without the harmful rays. It’s called the Solius and it’s the first of its kind in the world.

“What we’ve done is we’ve isolated the spectrum of light that provides the benefits of the sun but without the harmful rays that cause skin cancer or aging,” said Solius CEO Rick Hennessey.

The Solius is not anything like a tanning bed. It can be set to various skin types and dispenses protective goggles before the session begins. You can select a video montage to watch and listen to while you stand and receive your treatment, like aqua waves cascading on a white sand shoreline. Once the treatment begins, panels of purple light emit a radiant glow.

The machine generates a concentrated amount of the beneficial UVB rays that stimulate your body’s production of vitamin D.

“The amount of harmful rays you’d receive would be similar to standing in the sun for about 9 seconds,” Hennessey explained.

Alan Low, a UBC clinical associate professor who studies bone health and calcium D now has a Solius in his BioPro Pharmacy on Vancouver’s Broadway Avenue.

Low was part of a research team that found vitamin D supplements may not be enough for many people. They tested more than 20 brands and found 80 per cent of them failed to deliver the amount of vitamin D stated on the label.

“Maybe it’s down to the products. Are they getting the vitamin D that’s claimed there?” Low said. “Just having an alternative or another option for getting vitamin D was very intriguing.”

The Solius hasn’t taken long to generate interest. When CTV News visited the pharmacy, it was in use.

Jen Hallett says she’s very health conscious and was intrigued because Vancouver’s winters have a real negative effect on her.

“I feel sad, literally. Low energy, kind of like I want to hibernate,” she said.

She signed up for the service. It costs $50 a month and she can use it once a week.

You can remove as much clothing as you like for better exposure and the sessions last no more than 5 minutes.

Hennessey says the company worked closely with Health Canada while the Solius was in development. It received a medical device licence this past August but you don’t need a prescription to use it.

In addition to BioPro Pharmacy there’s another Solius in operation at Wellness Garage in White Rock.

The company hopes to have five pods in place before the end of the year.