If you’re worried about your city’s air quality, unfortunately checking the stats on local air reports won’t do you much good. The air pollution data collected by the government is by and large taken from remote areas and applied at a regional level — so for those concerned about pollution and mitigating its health risks, there’s not much to be done with the faulty information. To help empower citizens when it comes to improving the air in their cities, a team of innovators have created the Air Quality Egg system, a sensor system that allows individuals to collect very high resolution readings of NO2 and CO concentrations outside of their home, and share it with other inhabitants via the web.
Developed through a community effort born out of groups from the ‘Internet of Things Meetups‘ in NYC and Amsterdam, the Air Quality Egg is a sensor system designed to allow anyone to collect accurate air readings outside of their home from the inside. The system consists to three elements: outdoor sensors, an egg base station, and transmitters that send all the data collected to a central database via the internet.
A small electronic sensing system plugs into the wall and sits outside your home taking regular readings, transmitting the info it collects to the Egg base station inside. It then sends that data to Air Quality Egg’s Pachube, an open data service, which both stores and provides free access to the data on the web. The service includes embeddable graphs and the ability to generate triggers using tweets and SMS alerts, as well as a robust API which allows for developers in the community to unlock the potential of this new dataset by building mashups, maps, and applications.
Currently, the designers are seeking funding via Kickstarter (they’ve already exceeded their target by over 3.5 times), and the money they raise will allow them to realize the economies needed to both design and the tool custom hardware that will bring the price of each egg into an affordable range.