Air pollution is a rapidly growing concern all throughout the world. Our dependence on mass production and the use of fossil fuels directly affects the air we breathe no matter where we are, because what is created in another part of the world ultimately travels and gets to us. Even if the problem has the potential to wreck all sorts of havoc on our health, it sadly goes largely ignored because it’s invisible. Although there are government sites where air quality is monitored and recorded, the network is too sparse and dated to provide a full and accurate picture, much less be used as proof in matters of legislation. That’s where the AirBeam comes in.
The AirBeam is a portable arduino-based air quality monitor that continuously monitors the air and sends that data to a smartphone with Bluetooth, feeding it back to the AirCast environmental awareness platform. AirCast crowdsources all of this data from the thousands already using AirBeam to create a robust and extremely accurate picture of air quality. This allows citizen scientists, change makers, and ordinary people to be more informed and make an impact. To be effective, though, the monitor must work all day, a length of time smartphones have trouble staying on for by themselves. In any case, the AirBeams rings in at $199 which may be a bit pricey considering what kind of mass aspirations HabitatMap, the non-profit behind AirBeam and AirCast, has. Backers can start monitoring the air in May of 2015, if the creators reach their $50,000 goal.