This Wearable Pollution Monitor Detects How Dirty Your Air Is By Ami Kealoha

Thanks to the development of inexpensive sensors, several products claiming to test air quality have hit the market in recent years. Flow ($179), developed by Paris-based Plume Labs SAS, is a portable pollution sensor that’s encased in aluminum punched with a pattern of asymmetric holes for “360 air intake.” The device uses a tiny fan to suck in air as a combination of lasers and membranes detects what’s in it. An app introduced with the device in September breaks the measurements down into particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in real time.

Many first-time users of Flow are surprised to realize how polluted the air in their house is, especially if they’re cooking without proper ventilation. But the device can be handy in other scenarios, too. As the only consumer product that measures NO2 emissions that result from combustion and traffic, it detects one of the most widespread pollutants that contribute to asthma and bronchitis. A map crowdsourced from users is color-coded to provide an at-a-glance picture of the air pollution in your area, whether you’re planning a bike commute, taking your kids to school, or going for a downtown run while on a business trip. Plume Labs’ award-winning system comes with an easy-to-read interface, an air-quality index, and an elegant design that gives you a clearer view of the invisible stuff in the air.