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In The Media
What Is Tzoa?
Meet TZOA—The first wearable enviro-tracker that measures air quality and UV using the latest in sensor technology. Simply put, we connect you with your environment. By using TZOA you will be creating a crowdsourced map of environmental data in real-time.
Imagine viewing air quality as seamlessly as we view traffic on a map!
Reconnect With Your Environment
How is it possible that we have become so disconnected from the air we breathe? Clean air is even more essential to us than food or water, but we do far less to appreciate it, and don't track how it affects our health. Our cities and homes are a patchwork of clean and dirty air that we can't see and haven’t had the ability to discover. With something as vital as air, we shouldn't be in the dark any longer.
Right now, most cities are lucky to have a handful of expensive roof-top environmental monitors, recording data infrequently. The amount of information we are gathering is extremely limited; there needs to be hundreds of street-level monitors regularly monitoring to really know what is going on, so that we can identify how to improve and make a difference.
What Can TZOA Do?
With TZOA, you can measure harmful air pollution metrics. For example, TZOA recognizes when using your fireplace, cooking, or lighting a candle could actually be causing you and your family harm.
TZOA will also give you real-time solutions, like opening your windows for ventilation, choosing less polluted routes outdoors, or making sure you are getting enough sunshine through the winter seasons and not too much during the summer seasons.
At the heart of TZOA is a custom state-of-the-art optical air quality sensor that detects PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 and 10. These are tiny particles floating in the air that cause permanent damage to our lungs.
Our sensor counts individual particles, displays concentrations, and distinguish between PM10, which tends to be allergens, and PM2.5, which is more harmful to human health. TZOA's data will stream onto the TZOA Smartphone App which will be processed to some extent on the device, and then further processed in the cloud.
Sensors & Components
Air Quality: Detect the tiny particles in the air that contribute to respiratory and cardiac conditions. Identify the larger particles that can represent the pollen count in your community.
UV & Light: Monitor the level of light in your environment. Your mood and productivity levels are dramatically influenced by having the right amounts of light and UV exposure. Prolonged UV exposure can also lead to skin cancer and ageing of the skin.
LED: Get instant feedback without pulling out your smartphone. If you are out on your bicycle or jogging, no need to look down at your phone. Simply tap TZOA's front Detail to enable the LED application to give you a color based on the air quality level.
We understand that wearable tech is a personal expression, with that in mind, we designed multiple interchangeable 'Details' so that you can customize the look of Tzoa based on your mood, outfit and style.
These 'Details' are custom-made machined parts and are very expensive to produce in small quantities.
TZOA's Smartphone App
TZOA uses Bluetooth Smart to send and share data to your smartphone. Once TZOA is connected to your smartphone, the TZOA iOS and Android apps visualize your environment, giving you full access to information on how air pollution and UV are impacting you in your everyday life.
Air Quality At Home
Air Quality Timeline
Air Quality readings fluctuate daily and seasonally. Get access to instant information so you can plan your cycling route and travel plans accordingly. This is especially important for athletes, seniors and children and those who have respiratory sensitivities.
See Your City With Fresh Eyes
How We Got Here
For the past year, we've been working on designing, building and testing our prototypes. To make the best TZOA possible, we found a humanistic approach to such a technologically forward wearable device.
Where We Are Now
We have been working closely with The Next Big Thing Foundation , Woke Studios and the Vancouver based MakerLABS to complete the final stages of TZOA prototyping and product testing. We've started doing in-home testing with our team and will be conducting beta-testing in the upcoming weeks.
We will release an open API and let your creativity come up with amazing applications. Want to add fitness integration? What about how air quality impacts sleeping patterns? There are many applications for contextualizing environmental data with your health profile and other products. We're as excited as you are about these opportunities.
Tzoa was founded in 2013 in Vancouver, Canada by a team of industry experts and environmentally passionate individuals.
The founders of Tzoa believe that we can rid our planet of environmental issues, but they were frustrated that, as average people, we can't do much to really help and make a big impact. Policy makers are generally slow to act and transparency doesn't always shine though.
Tzoa is a tool to understand what's going on around us, and make a real difference. We would love for you to join our community of change-makers.
We are working with public health researchers and environmental scientists to benchmark our sensor against $5,000-$50,000 optical air quality sensors. Our goal is to have our sensor closely correlating with governmental sensors and gravimetric sampling.
To deliver the best TZOA possible, we will then conduct quality assurance testing (battery, drop tests, weather condition tests), and design verification testing (ensure mechanics, electronics, and software are all working together).
Once we have completed the required quality testings, we will move into manufacturing and production. Tzoa has identified reputable manufacturers who have extensive work experience in the wearables space to ensure you get the highest quality product possible.
November - December 2014: Kickstarter Campaign
January 2015: Start Custom Tooling Process + Final Electronic Board Layout
February 2015: Software Beta Version
March 2015: Initial Production Build (Test Small Batch Order)
April 2015: Finalized MVP of Software for iPhone and Android
May 2015: Internal Qualification Tests + Regulation Tests (FCC/CE/ROHS/UL)
June 2015: Second Production Build (Small Batch Order and Quality Control Testing)
July 2015: 1st Mid Batch Production Run
August 2015: Kickstarter Shipment Month.
Risks and challenges
Tzoa is a culmination of a year and a half of work. We are at the point where we understand what it would take to build a manufacturable product that will meet everyone’s expectations, even ours. We understand that our funding goal of $110,000 will not bring us from where we are now to a manufactured and shipped product.
We have discussed funding at length, and we have a very good idea of how much money it will take to make Tzoa a reality. We are comfortable saying that this number is less than $500,000. So what does $110,000 represent? Over the last year we have built relationships with investors, both Angels and VCs, who will be watching the success of this campaign. We agreed upon this funding goal as an appropriate marker of validation, whereby we can confidently leverage capital. We will also receive a substantial contributive grant.
Most wearable technology on the market uses off-the-shelf components such as accelerometers. We tested commercially available environmental sensors, the Sharp and the Shinyei dust sensors amongst others, but we weren’t satisfied with their performance, cost, or size; not to mention they did not count or size particles.
The good news is, our optical particle counter (air quality sensor) has already been built in an incredibly innovative and proprietary way, which has allowed us to greatly reduce the sensor footprint compared to competing devices. So why the high costs and the lengthy timeline? You can imagine that building a custom sensor is no simple feat of engineering.
At the time of launching this Kickstarter, Tzoa has a completed component package, and we are seeing great sensitivity and correlations with our waveforms. The next stage is to build algorithms that analyze these waveforms, which will allows us to count and size particles, and apply calibration curves. We even know how to do this, but it will take 3 months of coding firmware to reach this point.
What we have described above is the most challenging part of the Tzoa project. Otherwise, our engineers are world-class and have brought many products to market, some with challenging injection molds and some with complicated waveform analytics.
From the start of this campaign until delivery we will keep all of our backers updated on our progress. If there are unexpected issues or delays we promise to keep you in the loop and handle it with full transparency.
We are prepared for all future challenges that are ahead and we are committed to keeping you informed of our progress in the months following the campaign. Bringing a product to market is a journey, and we hope that you will join us for Tzoa’s.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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