Connected Objects Health and Wellness

IBaby Air helps little ones avoid cute little coughs

Air pollution inside and outside the home is a common problem that many people confront each day –- often coming from places it’s least expected, including common household items. Small children are especially vulnerable to volatile organic compounds because they can’t process the chemicals as effectively as adults.

IBaby Air is a smart Wi-Fi air monitor and ionic purifier that allows its users to monitor their homes’ air quality. The purifier turns on automatically when air quality is low. It detects several common pollutants that are found all over the U.S., many of which are invisible and/or odorless, including carbon monoxide, methane and ammonia. It works in conjunction with a companion app for Android and iOS mobile devices. iBaby Air sends alerts and daily room reports to the user’s mobile device.

Connected Objects Health and Wellness Sensors/IoT

uHoo version 2. Smart air quality sensor returns with a new look

Unbeknownst to many, indoor air is usually two to five times worse than outdoor air. And as a whole, air quality is the single largest environmental hazard in the world today. Not many people do much about the air inside, though, because they simply don’t know. The lightweight, portable uHoo smart air quality sensor empowers people to act using exact readings of the surrounding air quality.

The uHoo’s soda can-like form belies the eight dedicated sensors it uses to compile accurate air quality readings for a completely open space of 400 square feet. Not only is temperature, humidity, air pressure and dust accounted for, but uHoo keeps an eye on some of the nastier stuff like PM 2.5, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) as well.

Sensors/IoT Smart Home

Koto trio of sensor cubes monitor your home’s environent

One of the keys to a healthier lifestyle is as basic as the air we breathe, but that can easily be forgotten because of hard it can be to know exactly what to do to make it better even in our own homes.

To help, the Koto family of smart sensors has been designed to make sure you have all the information needed to make the proper health decisions. The system actually consists of three products. The Koto Blink is a tiny box filled with sensors measuring temperature, humidity, light, and noise, all in an effort to make your living space more comfortable.

The Koto Air is an upgraded Blink, combining its sensors with an air pollution and dust sensor to create a fuller picture of the home and a more robust set of data with which to make the subtle adjustments to the home necessary to stave off mold in older homes, for example.


Air Mentor shows the lighted sides of contaminated environs

The carbon monoxide detector is a must-have device. But there are many potential toxins in the air other than carbon monoxide that can be dangerous to people also — especially the very young and elderly and those with compromised immune systems and respiratory ailments.

Air Mentor is a Bluetooth Smart device with built-in industrial grade sensors that measure home air quality and can detect pollutants including carbon dioxide, particulate matters and volatile organic compounds such as carbon monoxide, aromatic hydrocarbons and organic acids. The triangular device can be placed on any flat surface in the home or office, and is used in conjunction with an Android or iOS app. Cloud computing software automatically analyzes indoor air patterns.

One of five colors lights up on the device to signal the air’s quality: green for good air quality, yellow for moderate, orange meaning the air is unhealthy for sensitive people such as those with asthma, red meaning the air is unhealthy for everybody, and purple signaling very unhealthy air. The device costs $249 and ships in May. Its maker is hoping to raise $15,500 by May 8.

Air Mentor holds promise, especially for consumers with compromised immune systems and those with chronic respiratory conditions including asthma. But consumers looking for a more portable device that performs some of the same functions might opt for something like the Scarab wearable air pollutant detector.


Sensors/IoT Wearables

Breathe easy with the TZOA wearable environmental tracker

The more the world undergoes urbanization, the worse air pollution becomes. Unfortunately, the environment around us is largely invisible and therefore most people don’t pay attention to it even if our health is being adversely affected. The people who do pay attention to what’s going on feel generally powerless to do anything about it mainly because they don’t have the tools at their disposal to make their case, having to rely on spotty and infrequent monitoring by governments that don’t prove very much at all.

The team behind the TZOA wearable environmental tracker is looking to put some smarts in the hands of those concerned. The tracker is outfitted with a proprietary optical air quality sensor that’s able to detect particulate matter 2.5, or PM 2.5. These tiny floating particles are found in harmful pollutants, like car exhaust and the smoke that results from wood burning, and cause permanent damage to our lungs.

Keeping the levels of PM 2.5 in the environment manageable is key to fortifying air quality, so TZOA’s companion app alerts you to elevated levels of contaminants and suggests actions to clean up the air around you. The app also collects the data to create an air quality map so that others can easily see current levels, overtime composing an air quality timeline for reference. The TZOA environmental tracker is $150 CAD (~$130 USD), and backers will receive the device in August of 2015 should its campaign reach its $110,000 CAD (~$96,000 USD) goal.

The TZOA team has similar ambitions to those behind the AirBeam in that they aim to create a platform where people can stay informed using crowd-sourced data about pollution. The AirBeam includes a few more sensors at a premium, but it seems like it would be more worth it as people are already using the AirBeam versus the unreleased product in the TZOA. In any case, as much as the problem of air pollution is a problem of information, various disconnected platforms addressing the same issue in the same way will ultimately do no good in the long run.


Connected Objects Health and Wellness Sensors/IoT

uHoo monitors your air, doesn’t taste like chocolatey chemicals

Every single second of our lives, we breathe. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale: it is this unconscious rhythm that keeps us going, but seldom do we stop to think about the quality of the air around us. We can only do so much about the air outside, but there’s no excuse to being ill-informed about the air in our own homes. The company behind the uHoo is looking to make it easy to know what’s lingering in our own bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms so we can take the actions necessary to protect our health.

Bad quality air can be the cause of all kinds of immediate respiratory issues like allergies, and chemicals and other pollutants can affect our health in the long term. That’s why the uHoo has five sensors that measure particulate matter, airborne chemicals, temperature, humidity, and CO2. It communicates this information to you through a companion app compatible with iOS using Wi-Fi, with an Android and Web-based app coming later. The sparse app gives you an overview of your home’s air quality and gives you details about specific sections of your home, sending alerts whenever it senses something out of the ordinary. Stay on top of your air with $129, and expect a uHoo in June of 2015. The campaign is looking for $30,000 to get uHoo out to backers.

uHoo is continuing the trend of arming users with lots and lots of information about the air, like the similar Table Air. But even if the information it provides is valuable, it isn’t doing enough. A device like this should serve not only as a data recorder but intelligently connect to and control other devices in a home to actively provide that cleaner, healthier environment while you go about your business. It was minimally designed to blend in with your home, but maybe it blends in a little too well.


Portable AirBeam monitors and reports air quality

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.