When the haze inevitably makes its way back to Singapore, you don’t need to wait for the PSI readings over the telly; not when you have a tracker small enough to clip onto your person.
TZOA makes a lofty claim to be the world’s first wearable enviro-tracker (fair enough, the Airbeam is palm-sized and arguably less wearable) that uses the latest in sensor technology – one that is equipped with an optical sensor that can detect Particulate Matter (PM), thanks to its 630 nanometer laser light source.
It can count individual particles, displays concentrations, and distinguish between PM10 and PM2.5, which are the readings we get from the NEA when the haze comes our way again. Just to recap, PM10 refers to particles that are smaller than 10 micrometers across, while PM2.5 are particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, which are potentially more dangerous. It also takes readings of air quality, humidity, temperature, and it also measures UV radiation so that you can actively limit your exposure to harmful UV rays.
Crowdsourced PSI Reading
The readings are processed by the companion app, which then assesses and evaluates the conditions around the sensor. Another excellent feature is that you can upload your data to help create a crowdsourced pollution map.
The boffins at TZOA claim that their pretty little device, which was designed to clip onto bags, belts, etc, gives the same accurate raw data as larger, more expensive optical particle sensors. They also estimate that the batteries should last a week, assuming that it took a reading every 15 minutes.
The idea of the TZOA is extremely attractive, if the execution works. Before, such measurements had been the exclusive domain of labs and the only time we ever know about these readings (which aren’t exactly to the minute) is when we check for PSI readings on the telly during haze season. Little did we think that it could be this portable and affordable.
It also doesn’t look half bad either, and is slightly customisable with replaceable face plates. The TZOA costs US$135 (RM475) on Kickstarter now for the first run, but you got to hurry, there are only three days to go.