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See What You Breathe -- with this tiny Air Quality Detector for iPhone.
1,456 backers pledged $77,417 to help bring this project to life.
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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

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Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.


Real-Time Readings of the Air Quality in your Personal Space

The Sprimo Personal Air Monitor senses airborne toxins and chemicals, as well as temperature and humidity, and gives you a real-time air quality score -- anywhere.

World's Smallest Air Quality Detector

It’s easily portable to give you peace of mind about the air you’re breathing wherever you go.

Sprimo Helps Protect You From Toxins

Now you can check the air for VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in your office, home or your child's bedroom to give you peace of mind.

Sprimo Uses an Industry Standard Air Quality Score

The Personal Air Monitor makes for a great air quality detector for general use, sensing a variety of VOCs to mathematically generate an easy-to-read Air Quality Score, based on the Industry Standard for Air Quality:

What Are VOCs and Where Do They Come From?

VOCs are typically found in paints, glues, varnishes and many cleaners, not to mention cigarettes and car exhaust. You know, all those things health officials say you should avoid breathing. Although the Personal Air Monitor can not selectively sense any particular VOC or gas, it can detect the general presence of VOCs. Here's some of the gasses it is sensitive to:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Acetone
  • Alcohol
  • Ethanol
  • Ammonia
  • Toluene many others...


Adverse Health Effects of Breathing VOCs

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Burning eyes
  • Irritated nose and throat
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloody nose and numerous other disorders

Why Air Quality is Really Important

Every day, you consume 4 times more air than food and water combined. You can eat organic food and drink filtered water, but how do you make sure your air is healthy? That's what Sprimo is all about.

How This Information Benefits You

Sprimo helps you know when you are in a dirty or clean air environment. With the information in hand (literally), you can make choices and take actions to live a healthier, longer life, such as:

  • Detect leaking paints and solvents and avoid using products that emit volatile organic compounds and gasses
  • Quantifiably detect unwanted gasses when your nose can't
  • Avoid environments with poor air quality
  • Choose one restaurant with cleaner air over another
  • Stay at hotel with better air in the rooms over another
  • Improve fresh airflow in rooms with low air quality scores by opening windows for fresh air and ventilation
  • Remove unhealthy sources of indoor air pollution
  • Recognize when to use an air purifier to filter your air
  • Reduce health risks

Product Highlights 

  • Keychain sized. No extra cable or battery required.
  • Made of durable, high-impact ABS plastic and stainless steel.
  • Integrated Apple-certified lightning connector and cutting edge gas detector technology able to detect thousands of volatile organic compounds
  • Plug and Play: Insert in the Sprimo Personal Air Monitor and start getting air quality readings right away.
  • Fully compatible with iPhone. (Android is coming later this year)
  • Interactive mapping of local and regional air quality readings.

Did You Know? 

  • Indoor air quality can get up to 8 times worse than outdoors.
  • 1 in 12 people suffer from Asthma and air pollution is the primary trigger for asthma attacks.
  • Homes and Offices are sealed to optimized for heating & cooling, which drastically reduces fresh air.
  • 223,000 people die each year in the US from lung cancer due to poor air quality.
  • Over 2 million people in the world die prematurely each year due to poor air quality.
  • Chronic respiratory diseases were the 3rd leading cause of death in America in 2014.
  • Air pollution can cause heart attacks and strokes, which are the 1st and 4th leading causes of death in the U.S.

Real World Examples

  • Glues and Plastics in a new car out-gas chemicals and can take a long time to dissipate. Here's one way to check:
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  • Of course purfumes and cosmetics emit gasses, that's what gives them the smell. But how much is too much? Here's one way to check:
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  • Everyone knows casinos can be harbors for bad air. We checked several and compared the air and found some were worse than others. We thought we'd see just how bad the air can be. Take a look:
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  • Construction or remodeling a home requires lots of glues, solvents, paints and a lot of other nasty stuff. So when is okay to move in? Here's one way to tell:
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  • Even when not doing a major remodel, having paints and chemicals around can cause problems for some people. A good indicator is the Air Quality Score. Start outside and walk in to the room to compare the fresh air outside to the indoor air quality.

Press and Praise

Digital Trends, Macworld, New Atlas, and much more press for Sprimo.

Karl Conrad: Best Tech Gifts - “Maybe you’re doing some renovations at home, maybe you’re breathing in some toxic fumes, or you’re worried about your kids that are playing in an area that may not be safe for them to breathe, just let this guy load as it calculates. I’m hoping you all have very good air quality no matter where you are.”

Cassandra Bodzak - “I was super excited to be one of the first people to use the @sprimolabs air quality monitor after getting SUPER sick last year in Shanghai from the poor air quality. I love that I can see which spots have cleaner air and where I may be taking in way more toxins than I can even imagine.”

Danielle Cuccio: How Air Quality Effects our Health and Wellness - “It’s time for us to be more aware of how we can make a difference and care about our environment and the toll it takes on our health. This is one healthy device I would definitely (already have) invest in!”

Smart Tech Media: Featured Product - “You can actually track how the air is every single place you go!”

The Sprimo Community   

You can be part of the worldwide community of Sprimo users by sharing local air quality readings. Sprimo’s vision is to create a real-time, high resolution "heat map" of air quality across the world, so people stay informed and take action to improve air quality for everyone.

 The Team 

Based in Silicon Valley with advisers in the U.S. and China, the Sprimo team collectively has decades of experience in product development and air quality science.

 THANK YOU from The Team! 


Ray Combs: Co-Founder and CEO 

Ray has held senior management roles at a variety of companies, including Amazon, Lytro, Palm and LiveScribe. His products have sold millions of units and won numerous awards. He is passionate about improving indoor air quality to help his son, who suffers with asthma. Ray has a degree in Electrical Engineering / Computer Science from Washington State University.

Harold Han: Co-Founder and CTO 

Harold has devoted years to lab experiments to fine-tune chemical filtration and holds several patents & scientific publications in the field. Harold grew up in China where pollution in many cities makes it impossible to go outside, and has personally lost family members to unhealthy air. He was a former synthetic chemist at Bio-Rad Laboratories and holds a PhD in Chemistry from New York University.

Jovan Pentalic: Chief Scientist 

As a PhD air specialist at UC Berkeley, Jovan has conducted extensive lab testing on the principles behind the Personal Air Monitor deeming it a key component to our everyday lives.

Expert Testimonial 

“If you don’t know your blood pressure, you’re going to have heart issues. If you don’t know your insulin levels, you’re going to have diabetes issues. And if you don’t know your air quality numbers, you’re going to have breathing issues.” 

- Dr. TJ Osborne, Doctor at Family Health in Santa Clara, California

Loud and Proud

We rely on word of mouth from other Sprimo enthusiasts to spread the word!







Project Timeline 

Thank You For Supporting Our Campaign! 

Thank you so much for your support. We're so excited to get this product out into the world!

- The Sprimo Team

 Chinese customers, please view our Chinese-dedicated page here:




Risks and challenges

Product design is hard, especially when products require the integration of mechanical, electrical and software design. Our first prototype was built December-2016 and since then, over a hundred sample units have been manufactured, with design improvements along the way. Based on input from our engineering group, core team, alpha and beta customers, we are confident the latest design will meet our customers' high standards.

We have not begun high-volume manufacturing yet and there are certainly design challenges that come with scaling up from prototype to manufacturing scale. However, our product designers have done this before with other mass-produced products, like the Bluetooth SmartPen, so we have the right experience.

We are in the process of selecting a factory that has experience manufacturing similar products and understands the nuances of our design package. In particular, expertise with high volume, low cost manufacturing, coupled with tight tolerances and tough cosmetic standards.

Related to safety and certification, there is always some risk associated with Apple Certification, FCC, CE Mark and China Certifications. To mitigate this risk, we made some tough decisions during the design process and will be working with a qualified test laboratory (April-May 2017), so we can identify and fix any unforeseen design issues, early in the manufacturing process.

The community feature may not get widespread usage. That feature will rely on lots of people using our app and with only a small number of users it will not be as informative. We have planned for this though and can fill in the gaps with data from other air quality sources, so we still think it will be helpful feature.

The product could fall short of expectations when used and abused in the real world. We have done a lot of testing with ourselves, friends, family and beta testers, but it's all been limited to the past few months. It's possible the product may be subjected to much more wear and tear or put in situations we hadn't thought of. However, we have gone out of our way to perform tests to measure resistance to breaking and other damage and the product has stood up well to that abuse, so we're confident it will be able to handle whatever its users put it through.

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Funding period

- (45 days)

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