NEWSBYTE With governments around the world focused on reducing pollution levels and improving air quality in cities, one startup is looking to take that fight into the home.
Foobot, from Luxembourg-based startup AirBoxLab, was inspired by CEO Jacques Touillon’s desire to help his eldest child deal with asthma. With no devices on the market capable of regulating the air quality indoors, he decided to devise his own. The result is what the company describes as “the most advanced data processing smart monitor on the market”.
Just as the likes of Ring and Nest are looking to change the way we think about doorbells and heating and security, respectively, Foobot’s purpose is to form a closer connection between users and their indoor environment. Eventually, the company hopes, its customers will learn more about what causes the air quality to drop in the home and change their behaviour accordingly.
Via its accompanying app, Foobot provides warnings and advice on invisible air quality problems. These include: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as the gases emitted from household cleaning or hobby products; fine particulate matter (PM2.5), such as airborne particles from industrial plants or busy roads; carbon dioxide; temperature; and humidity.
The system logs readings of each at five-minute intervals. It then displays the data collected from four different onboard sensors using a scoring system to reflect the air quality in the home.
‘Pollution events’, from cleaning the floor with bleach to cooking dinner, are classified by a machine learning system, which can so far categorise event types with 94 percent accuracy.
Cleaning up the smart home
Foobot can be integrated with existing smart home devices and services. Using an IoT ‘recipe’ service such as IFTTT (If this then that), it can actively work with systems such as Nest to regulate the home’s temperature. Meanwhile, voice assistants, including Alexa, can vocalise any problems discovered by Foobot and offer solutions.
Through IFTTT, Foobot can connect to more than 120 home appliances and smart home devices, triggering systems for ventilation, purification, and air conditioning automatically.
AirBoxLab is also seeking to work with medical institutions and heating, ventilation and air conditioning suppliers (HVAC) to take Foobot’s technology beyond the domestic environment.
Internet of Business says
This is one of the best connected-home apps and services that we have come across, because while other types of medical complaint – such as diabetes and heart problems – are being tackled by consumer wearables in higher-profile stories, asthma and other common inflammatory or respiratory problems are often overlooked in the process. The innovative mix of sensors, data, and the ability to connect with other home devices is exciting.