China-based startup aims to monitor pollution

February 1, 2016
Airvisual.com, based in Beijing, has designed a personal pollution measuring device that can feed air quality data into a worldw
Airvisual.com, based in Beijing, has designed a personal pollution measuring device that can feed air quality data into a worldwide network, providing up-to-the-minute information on local conditions as well as three-day forecasts

A China-based startup firm launched a campaign Monday to fund a project which would allow people to monitor air pollution locally, and to crowd-source data on the problem in many countries around the world.

Airvisual.com, based in Beijing, has designed a personal measuring device that can feed air quality data into a worldwide network, providing up-to-the-minute information on local conditions as well as three-day forecasts.

The launched a campaign Monday on crowdfunding web site indiegogo.com to try to fund production of the device called the "Node", which can track levels of CO2 and PM2.5, harmful microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs.

Users outside China can opt to send information from the device to the company, from which it can develop its pollution modelling and forecasting capabilities.

But the feature will not be available for Chinese users, the website said, due to government regulations preventing individuals from sharing outdoor air quality information "publicly".

Air quality information is published on an hourly basis in many parts of China, but there are currently few options for people to monitor conditions in their home or workplace.

Although the company is based in China, its devices will be available for sale around the world.

The company describes itself as a "social enterprise". Its goal is not profit but to let people "help protect themselves and thrive in a polluted environment", said company co-founder Yann Boquillod.

Air pollution is a pressing concern for people in many countries, particularly in the developing world, where controls are often incomplete or ineffective.

In parts of India and China, for example, PM2.5 is regularly well over the World Health Organisation's recommended maximum average exposure of 25 micrograms per cubic metre in a 24-hour period.

In December Beijing experienced several waves of pollution that left the city choking on smog that clocked in at levels well over 300 and drove a shopping frenzy for air purifiers and masks.

The crowdfunding campaign was "going well", Boquillod said, and had already achieved 33 percent of its goal of $10,000 by Monday evening.

Explore further: Beijing pollution soars but no red alert

Related Stories

Beijing pollution soars but no red alert

December 29, 2015

Parts of China's capital Beijing suffered air pollution more than 20 times recommended levels on Tuesday, but authorities refrained from issuing the highest smog alert.

Beijing says pollution lessened in 2015 despite smog alerts

January 5, 2016

Environmental authorities in Beijing say air quality improved in 2015, a year in which they issued the city's first two red smog alerts and showed a greater willingness to disrupt industry and ordinary people in search of ...

Bad air 'plagued Beijing for nearly half of 2015'

January 5, 2016

Beijingers spent nearly half of 2015 breathing air that did not meet national standards, Chinese media reported Tuesday, as the city struggles to address a smog problem that has provoked widespread public anger.

Recommended for you

Caves in central China show history of natural flood patterns

January 19, 2017

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that major flooding and large amounts of precipitation occur on 500-year cycles in central China. These findings shed light on the forecasting of future floods and improve ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.