It is estimated that more than 5.5 million people worldwide are dying prematurely every year as a result of air pollution, especially in urban areas.
The aim of the project is to raise the level of awarness by providing to citizens a low cost yet effective portable tool for montitoring air quality levels both outdoor and indoor.
Moreover, by means of a web platform and mobile app, the sensors become part of a larger network for sharing data and improving the overall monitoring system.
The hardware of the project is at a prototipal stage, it is fully working and it has been tested for months mainly in outdoor contexts.
The data has been characterized near an air monitoring station from a governmental agency and it proved to be highly reliable.
The data from different monitoring campaigns (moving the sensor node in different areas of the city) has been used to publish a study on the state of air pollution in our city in Italy in front of governmental authorities who appreciated the usefulness of the information.
The web based platform for reading the data in real time and with an historical perspective is at an alpha stage and so does the mobile application.
How does your innovation work?
The innovation works as a combination of hardware and software.
The hardware can be place inside a house or outside, as long as it can reach a wifi signal and can have some energy supply. Once it is positioned, it periodically (the interval can be customized) detects air quality by means of several sensors and sends the data to a server.
The data is made available through a web based platform and a mobile application, allowing the user to analyze data and filter it by pollutant, time, geographic area.
The prototype currently detects PM10, PM2.5, VOC, CO2, Temperature, Humidity and GPS coordinates.
What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?
The main evidence is that, after a period of data characterization alongside with an offical air monitoring station by the Government, the results of our prototype were surprisingly similar to the offical data.
The official station costs about 200-250K euro, while our prototype costs around 200€ and once fully implemented into a product may even cost 100€.
The data from our innovation has even been used by an environmental organization to conduct a study on air pollutions in our city: https://www.slideshare.net/CentroStudiTolerus/pm10-uno-studio-indipenden...
Do you have current users or testers?
As of today we only have one unit of the product and we have been testing it thoroughly for months and are now ready to get funding in order to launch a larger scale testing using 10-20 testers in Italy.
What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?
The first step is to go from a prototype to a product, by producing another couple of iterations and especially giving the product an appealing design.
In the process of getting to the finished product, the team wants to conduct a large scale trial by producing 10-20 units of the sensor node and selling them to early adopters. This step would help us refine both the hardware and the software, making it ready for a larger scale of operations and sales.
The target area of this first stage of product refinement would be Italy, because we already have many connections with environmental activits and organizations, who already manifested an interest to be included in such large scale pilot.
The next step is to get the necessary funding in order to build 10-20 prototypes and an appealing design/packaging for the hardware, as well as refining the software platform bringing it from alpha to beta stage.