Research shows that that air quality can vary greatly between locations just a couple blocks apart, let alone miles! (e.g. http://apte.caee.utexas.edu/google-air-mapping/). How relevant a measurement from Jackson Street is to somebody who lives a few miles away in South San Jose?
The public interest in air quality raises periodically (e.g. recently during Campfire*), but doesn’t result in increased public awareness. The data that’s out there is often poorly represented, which makes it even harder to answer the question “What is the air quality today?”.
Here are some possible answers you could hear:
-Moderate. -AQI: 142. -Bad. -73 ug/m3. -Red. -Poor. -Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. -Unhealthy. -”It was in the purple this morning, but now its in red”.
None of the above is technically incorrect. But are they intuitive? Each of these answers needs some additional context to understand it. 142… out of how many? Is purple color worse than red? Is a hundred still ok if I have asthma?
This usually means more time and effort than an average San Jose commuter is willing to dedicate everyday before work.
We would like to address these issues by creating a network of air quality sensors, starting with two nodes on SJSU campus. The yielded data we want to then represent on a gauge-type display or in other intuitive way. Both online and physically on the network nodes. The goal is to make it no harder than reading the clock.
The proposed system can provide anyone with Internet access intuitive and truly local air quality data at a glance in the prototype. Market opportunities include selling the device to institutions as well as releasing a clock-type IoT device that users could use at their homes to check the local air quality at the nearest node.