This elegant wearable device wants to help you breathe cleaner air and plan your day accordingly.
While a majority of the wearable space has been focused on tracking what’s inside of our bodies, such as activity and stress levels, a new kind of device is emerging, one in which monitors what’s going on outside of us — specifically in our environment. Unlike others on the market today, TZOA is a gadget that measures air pollution in a user’s immediate surrounding area using advanced sensor technology.
The tiny, round tracker — which recently made its Indiegogo debut — is equipped with an optical laser that quantifies air quality, as well as an assortment of sensors to keep tabs on things like UV light, humidity and temperature, all of which transmit data to a companion smartphone app via Bluetooth. With these tidbits of information, a user can determine whether they need to open a window in their home, step outside to catch a few rays, or simply take a different route on their way to the office.
TZOA comes with a social component, too. Once the device is activated, not only will the user access information specifically catered to their surroundings, that data is also relayed to a crowdsourced pollution map of their area. Should the levels of any tracked metric rise, the app will send a notification to the user’s phone to alert them.
At the heart of TZOA lies a custom optical quality sensor that is tasked with detecting tiny particles (known Particulate Matter 2.5 and 10), many of which have been proven to cause permanent damage to respiratory and cardiac systems. The palm-sized instrument features a fan directly beneath its triangular cover that swoops up the air in its vicinity, and a laser tasked with counting the pollutants. It can even identify larger particles in the air, including allergens, which can be rather useful this time of year.
“The air can be worse inside your home than outside (2-5 times worse on average). You spend the majority of your life in your home, we all have the right to know if its a safe environment,” the team writes. “If you suffer from asthma or allergies you’re already greatly affected by the air you breathe, if you have more data you can help to manage your condition and enjoy the air once again.”
What’s nice is that, even on the go, users can receive instant feedback without ever having to delve into their pockets for a smartphone. For instance, when riding a bike or jogging through the park, looking down at a mobile device isn’t always convenient. Instead, a simple tap will emit a color-coded system that fluctuates based on air quality levels. This data, in combination with GPS, can offer up real-time suggestions on the best pathways and neighborhoods for outdoor activities.