Breathe Up

Part of modern living, especially in urban areas, is the decreased air quality. This can impact our daily lives in different ways. Infants and the elderly are more susceptible to the ill effects of air pollution than adults. Those who exert themselves physically through exercise or work breathe more air than someone with less strenuous activities. How good is the air around you, whether it’s indoors or out?

The French company Groupe TERA has developed a new system that addresses this problem. Breath Up is a combination of hardware, software, and cloud processing that helps individuals be better informed about the air quality in their environment, and what changes they should make in response. The company has been involved in air quality measurement for years, and makes its own sensors that detect particulates, volatile organic compounds (VOC), carbon dioxide, and ozone. They make a wearable sensor that links to your smartphone to send reported data to the cloud. You can also get a stationary sensor for use in a home or office. The application in the cloud also draws data from municipal sensors and other sources, producing a local map of outdoor air quality conditions. As a result, the companion app can tell you what time would be best to go for your run or bike ride, and even what route would expose you to the least air pollution.

As one company representative told me at CES 2016, they want to become the Trip-Advisor for air quality. The mobile sensor is expected to sell for about 100 Euros (a bit more than $100) when it goes on the market later this year.