AirBeam is a personal, palm-sized air quality monitor that uses Bluetooth, an app, and website to build awareness about pollution.
Support this project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/741031201/airbeam-share-and-improve-your-air
Air pollution is a staggering worldwide problem. Sources estimate that poor air quality costs the United States alone over $78 billion dollars annually. The negative impacts of air pollution rank it among the most serious and widespread human health hazards in the world. Breathing dirty air causes chronic illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis and contributes to terminal illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Unfortunately, despite the very real impacts air pollution has on our every day lives, it often goes unnoticed because it is largely invisible. In addition, because government-run air quality monitoring networks are sparse, publicly available air quality measurements don’t translate into an accurate assessment of personal exposure. The answer? Low-cost, portable air quality instruments. This is where YOU, AirCasting, and the AirBeam come in.
Taking Matter(s) Into Our Own Hands
AirCasting is an open-source platform comprised of wearable devices and digital media that enables AirCasters (that’s you!) to independently and accurately collect and broadcast air quality data. But at its core, AirCasting is a DIY air monitoring movement that uses information about local environments to inform, educate, share, and ultimately improve health in communities around the world.
The AirCasting platform was built as an open-source, end-to-end solution for collecting, displaying, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. The platform consists of wearable sensors that detect changes in your environment and physiology, including a palm-sized air quality monitor called the AirBeam, the AirCasting Android app, the AirCasting crowdmapping website, and wearable LED accessories. By documenting and leveraging health and environmental data to inform personal decision-making and public policy, the AirCasting platform empowers citizen scientists and changemakers like you and me to take matters into our own hands.
Currently, the AirCasting platform connects a series of wearable devices to a network, notably an Arduino-powered, portable, palm-sized air quality monitor called the AirBeam. The AirBeam measures fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5. You may be saying to yourself, “Why is this important?” Answer: The US Environmental Protection Agency monitors and regulates six criteria air pollutants, one of which is PM2.5, and the EPA’s measurements indicate that PM2.5 levels pose a substantial health risk in cities across the country.
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