About this project
Air.Air! automatically measures air quality by detecting particulate matter. It can detect particles in the air, including minute traces of cigarette smoke or diesel fumes.
With our air quality sensing app, you can set an alarm (currently under development) to alert you if the quality level goes below a specified levels.
It also measures temperature.
It uses the new Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE), so it can transmit data to any Bluetooth-compatible device. There is no need for Internet access, because Air.Air! communicates directly with your smart phone.
Easy to carry and very simple to use. Set upright your Air.Air!, open the App, and measure the air quality!
Many cities have daily air quality reports, but these reports are very general. They usually do not include detailed information about specific locations. Air.Air! measures air quality on the spot, wherever you are.
We believe this device may be of interest to engineers and curious minds who want to know more about air quality and are interested in collecting data about their environment.
By using Air.Air! at home, you may learn a lot about air quality sensing. There are a lot of things in our households which decrease the quality of air substances and particles we do not have affordable tools to measure.
The dust particles are basically invisible. But Air.Air! can measure it.
Air.Air! will help address the lack of tools and data on air quality. You can compare the air at home with the air outdoors and in the surroundings. You can the device with you, wherever you go. It even works in your car.
There are a lot of other ways you can use it.
The reason why we built this device is because human perception usually fails to detect air pollution, making it difficult for us to evaluate the amount of awareness we are subjecting ourselves. However, when the device provides a specific reading, we get something we can rely upon and share with friends and family.
By having our own air quality monitoring system, we can potentially optimize decisions to decrease exposure to poor air. You can discover, for instance, that your furnace or wood stove is leaking and affecting your air quality more than you realized.
There is a nifty website "state of the air.org" in which you can type in your ZIP code and find out how polluted the air is for a particular region. The only issue with this service is that its data is too general. They do not provide the public with exact levels of air pollution for a very specific location.
Air.Air! has a compact optical dust sensor developed by Sharp Corporation. In the dust sensor, there is an IRED infrared-emitting diode and a photo transistor, which are diagonally arranged in the device to measure the reflected light off of the airborne dust particles. This kind of device is especially effective at detecting airborne particles like the kind that are to be found in cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust, as it can distinguish between very fine particles.
We also designed a iPhone (Android later).App to display tips and specific number of detected data. Good UI makes it easier to use.
App view of Air.Air!
Those of us who remember the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers may recall that the EPA provided inaccurate information about the risks of the poor air quality. Many of the volunteers, not having the required equipment to test the air themselves, had no choice but to assume the information they were told was correct. Sadly many volunteers now suffer from permanent lung damage.
After the Tohoku disaster in Japan, the government failed to provide data on radiation in the atmosphere. Many of the citizens knew they needed their own data, but measuring tools became hard to find. So, open source projects filled the gap (one of them being even sponsored by two successful Kickstarter campaigns), provided reliable and low cost Geiger Counters.
With Air.Air! our goal is to provide simple tools to make it easier for regular smart phone to monitor air quality in their surroundings. When it comes to quality of life, it is important to have control over the tools to conduct our own measurements.
Terrible haze in Beijing in 2012
Last year, a terrible haze engulfed Beijing. There was widespread concern about the air quality. Weather reports only gave one value for the entire city, failing to provide detailed and updated information about the environmental conditions of the city.
Our device was designed and prototyped right after this event. Within six months of research and development, Air.Air! was born. We have a working prototype and we are asking the public to contribute to us, so we can bring Air.Air! finally to the market, distributing a first batch of devices to the Kickstarter community.
We want to release it under an open-source license. This will allow a higher level of involvement from users. There's no telling what the community may be able to do with the published information.
Open source makes world better.
To do so, we will share all the files after we successfully reach our goal on Kickstarter.
Air.Air! and iPhone 4S
For one of our stretch goals we would like to build an online community where people can publish and store their data. But this is depend on the popularity of the project.
Data center diagrammatic drawing
To build the online community will require additional expertise. This is why we need your support.
We are designers and hardware engineers with the goal of empowering individuals to collect, analyze, and share data about their environments. We have done as much work as possible to make Air.Air! as reliable and useful as possible.
Building prototypes and doing a small production run, is very costly for independent engineers and designers like us. We have to build molds, buy several components and pay for the assembly. Therefore we ask for support in bringing this device to the hands of the general public.
Please join us in our effort to deal with a worldwide environmental issue with a very simple and practical solution!
We would like to express our gratitude to all those who gave us the possibility to implement this project.
The people blow show their great interests in this project and they also give us a lot of help: Luis Felipe Rosado Murillo, Devon Sean McCullough, Junjie Xie, Jason Wang, Kang Liu, Karl Chen, Link Li, Sun Knight, Zheng Dong, Zhuqing Kong, Jianjun Wang, etc.
- 10/10/13 Finish optimization of circuit board and mechanical structure. Optimize Bluetooth communication. Start to write documents for makers.
- 20/10/13 Optimize the assembly for manufacturing.
- 01/11/13 Develop test platform for manufacturing. Start to develop App for Android. Test smart phone. Submit our App for iPhone to Apple store.
- 15/11/13 Start manufacturing.
- 15/01/14 Ship rewards!
Note that we will update each steps when finished.
- Technology: Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy); range: Approximate 100 Feet within line of sight.
- iOS devices with Bluetooth 4.0 (iPhone 4s, iPhone 5). The new iPad, New Touch, mini iPad would use App for iPhone currently.
- Android devices supporting Bluetooth Low Energy. This is available if our second goal is reached.
- The temperature can be only used for basic understanding of normal temperature. Not replaceable for precision calibrators for temperature.
- This device can not replace medical device where Air.Air! can be only used to give suggestions of air dust level. There is no value in health claiming warning.
Risks and challenges
We have worked hard on our iPhone app, but we still have not submitted it to App Store. To make the App accessible, we may need several iterations to meet Apple's requirements.
In order to deploy Air.Air! at a large scale, we will need to build an automated test fixture. To ensure that each one is working perfectly.
We have finished most of the electronic modules designing and prototype testing. For the production, we are negotiating with local factories. There is always risk when manufacturing systems as complex as electronics. We will work hard in an effort to meet Howard stated deadline for delivery.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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