Engineers Develop Air Quality Monitor for the iPhone
Tom Spendlove posted on April 24, 2017 |
Santa Clara engineers have developed an air quality monitor that plugs into a users iPhone and displ...

The engineers at Sprimo Labs say that we breathe in twelve times as much air every day as we eat food. Further, we take in five times more air than we do water. Because of these facts they wanted to make sure that our air was subject to the same stringent rules and filters that we use on food and water. Their solution on a personal level is Sprimo, a personal air monitor that plugs into your smartphone. There’s currently a successful Kickstarter campaign running to help fund the first round of products.

The Sprimo filter looks for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the air and gives an Air Quality score of 1-500, with a score over 300 meaning that the air is hazardous. The air quality score takes the amount of VOCs, temperature and humidity into account, and an algorithm fits this information into the score based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index.

Sprimo’s app currently only works with iOS and iPhones 5-7 and SE. Android support is expected to come toward the end of 2017. An interesting note in the campaign’s comment section says the engineers are currently working through Apple’s tight requirements to get approval for the connector to be approved as an iPhone device.

There are several examples on the campaign page of the current app and filter being used in the field. New car vs old car chemicals, perfumes and cosmetics in the mall, casinos, and construction projects are all measured to show Sprimo analyzing and reporting air quality. The company is also committed to building a community and allowing users to report on their local air quality to build a worldwide map of air quality. One element of the air filter I expected to see was some kind of filter that needed to be replaced over time, but all of the information provided here shows that the Sprimo doesn't need periodic recharging or replacing. The campaign ends on May 20 and first units are expected to ship in July 2017.

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