Most of the attention on wearable Health Tech devices has been focused on collecting biometric data about the wearer for fitness, health, and medical applications. One group of developers has turned their attention outward however; they see wearables as way to crowd-source data about our shared environment. The result is AirBeam, an open source device designed to monitor air pollution.

Developed by New York-based HabitatMap, the device measures fine particulate pollutants, 2.5 microns and smaller. These particles are linked to short term health problems, including asthma attacks, as well as long term problems such as cancer and heart disease. The data from the device is sent to an Android smartphone or tablet running the AirCasting Android app, which uploads the information to the AirCasting website where users can monitor the air conditions in their vicinity.

This is an interesting and different view on wearable Health Tech devices that could serve as a model for monitoring all sorts of environmental conditions. It could lead to the pollution equivalent of traffic reports on GPS mapping apps, and a system could issue alerts to your smartphone when certain limits are triggered by the aggregated readings.