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.


Cooking Food and Beverage

PERES e-nose smells trouble when meat misses the mark

The Premise. Food poisoning is no fun, and also no joke. With an estimated 5,000 deaths related to food-borne illnesses in the US every year, it’s important to be completely confident that any food consumed is safe and free from disease.

The Product. The PERES is an “e-nose” that is designed to do something no other device has been able to offer consumers: test meat for any potential consumption risks. Compatible with beef, pork, poultry, and fish, the PERES takes an air sample from the proximity from any bit of meat and analyzes the sample looking for any harmful bacteria or signs of spoiling. With the ability to detect over 100 different kinds of harmful substances and instant Bluetooth transmission to a phone or tablet, meat can be analyzed quickly and easily to make sure that dinner will be enjoyable and safe to eat.

The Pitch. ARS LAB, the company behind the PERES, introduces the device and discusses its inception after a nasty case of food poisoning suffered by the CEO’s wife. Backing PERES does more than just bring a device to market, a significant portion of the proceeds are also being donated to various relevant charities. PERES needs $100,000 to finish prototype development as well as to complete the included app. ARS LAB offers a referral program that can result in a free device for referring 10 backers, and also has a number of stretch goals. At $135,000, there will be add-ons for the device to give it new features. $250,000 will include a standalone device that can function without a smartphone, while $350,000 will turn the PERES into a home safety device that can detect gas leaks and humidity. At the $500,000 mark, the team claims that PERES can help detect fertility, be a home drug testing kit, and even prevent infidelity with its powerful nose.

The Perks. A PERES e-nose is available to backers who pledge $120. Developers who want to add more functionality to the device can get the SDK and one of the devices for $750. The first batch is expected to ship in July 2014.

The Potential. The food safety industry can always use as much help as it can get, and PERES seems like a great thing for any home cook or even restaurant owner to keep handy. The social sharing aspects of the device seem a little unnecessary (who wants a status update from their friends about spoiled meat?) but overall the device is a great kitchen implement that would be right at home next to any meat thermometers.