Oh, wearables. You track our movement, deliver our texts, shock us into better habits (umm, thanks?) and share everything we see. Just what will you do next? Turns out, you’ll test air pollution. Recently Kickstarted, AirBeam is a wearable air-quality monitor that tracks the air around you and uses the data to improve air quality everywhere. After three years of research and development, this device can accurately detect the quality of air you’re breathing and show you what everyone else is breathing, in real time.
If this sounds a bit extremist to you, trust that it is not. You may not be able to see it, but air pollution surrounds us. In fact, it’s a real hazard that causes asthma, bronchitis and even terminal illnesses like cancer and heart disease. The makers of AirBeam believe air pollution is largely ignored because it’s invisible and difficult to track. They’ve set out to create a remedy through the AirBeam device and a pairing app called AirCasting.
Change-makers who wear the device will be collecting and reporting information about air quality to AirCasting, which in turn shares that info with others with real-time maps. That means users will be able to see the current air quality in nearby neighborhoods, which could help joggers determine which route to tackle on any given day. But since no one wants to be checking a map on their phone at every turn, they’ve also developed the LiteBeam, a small luminescent accessory that communicates with your AirBeam. The accessory glows green for low intensity, then yellow, orange and up to red for high intensity.
If we have access to real-time, complete, accurate data on the air, it may just inspire city officials and lawmakers to make better decisions about pollutants. It may even encourage some people to make better personal decisions, like to quit smoking or start biking to work.
How concerned are you about air quality? Would you invest in a wearable to help you track pollution? Let us know in the comments below!