Menu
Home air quality sensor stores data in the cloud

Home air quality sensor stores data in the cloud

The $200 sensor can help monitor PM2.5 particles, which have been linked to disease

The US$200 Speck combines a particle sensor and machine-learning algorithms to gauge the level of PM2.5 pollution in the air, which has been linked to disease. Developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, the sensor can provide information allowing users to make decisions about indoor ventilation and whether to install air filters.

The US$200 Speck combines a particle sensor and machine-learning algorithms to gauge the level of PM2.5 pollution in the air, which has been linked to disease. Developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, the sensor can provide information allowing users to make decisions about indoor ventilation and whether to install air filters.

Researchers have developed a connected air quality sensor that measures fine particulate matter (PM) in homes.

The US$200 Speck combines a particle sensor and machine-learning algorithms to gauge the level of so-called PM2.5 pollution in the air, which has been linked to disease.

Developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, the sensor can provide information allowing users to make decisions about indoor ventilation and whether to install air filters.

The unit incorporates a tiny fan, particle sensor, color display and Wi-Fi connectivity so air quality data can be uploaded to a cloud server. The screen shows whether unhealthy levels of fine particles are present. The sensor data is hosted by CMU but users have control over how the information is shared.

"People and communities need to take back control of their air at home -- and it's very, very difficult today to measure true air quality in the home and act on it," Illah Nourbakhsh, a CMU robotics professor who developed the sensor, said via email.

Most home air monitors detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon dioxide but not fine particulates, Nourbakhsh said, adding that the machine-learning algorithms are used to filter out noise from the sensor, which is relatively cheap.

Fine particles have been linked to illnesses including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart problems. PM2.5 refers to particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, about one-thirtieth the average width of human hair.

Nourbakhsh pointed to a recent study by researchers from the University of Chicago, Harvard and Yale which found that fine particulate matter pollution is reducing the life expectancy of more than half the population of India by three years or more.

In a trial, the Speck sensor was distributed to families in the area in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and one found that the sensor showed air quality was reduced when an air conditioner was on, exacerbating their daughter's asthma, Nourbakhsh said. Other alerts were triggered by construction or exhaust from a diesel generator.

Pre-orders are being taken for the Speck sensors, which will begin shipping in April.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Carnegie Mellon UniversityInternet-based applications and servicesconsumer electronicsroboticsinternet

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2015 and 2016 inductees - Darryl Swann, Dave Rosenberg, Gary Bigwood, Keith Watson, Mike Hill and Scott Green - to the inaugural Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed how the channel can collectively work together to benefit New Zealand, the Kiwi skills shortage and the future of the industry. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch
Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Show Comments