We track our calories, we track our physical activity, we track our sleep patterns, but so far, we haven’t been able to track one of the most essential factors to our health– the quality of the air we breathe. Moreover, data about the air quality in our communities is scarce and collected infrequently, leaving us disconnected with our immediate environment and in the dark about how to improve it.
A Canadian team, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, has developed Tzoa - a wearable tracker equipped with an optical air quality sensor that can detect harmful particles. The sensor counts individual particles, displays concentrations, and can distinguish between allergens and particles that are more harmful to human health. Tzoa also monitors the UV and light levels in the user’s environment - factors that can affect mood and sleep patterns as well as cause skin cancer. If needed, the device will urge you to go outside in the winter to get some more light, or hide in the shade if you’ve already had too much sun in the summer. Feedback is delivered in two ways – through an LED light on the device, or through a mobile app where the data is collected and processed.
“Right now there is a huge disconnect with our environment. You can’t really see it and you can’t smell it, so there’s got to be a way to connect with it and measure it. There are things like climate change and nothing’s being done about them and it’s because of this disconnect with our environment. So we need this first step, this tool, to allow us to connect to the environment and start making changes” – Kevin Hart
Co-founders Kevin Hart and Laura Moe believe that there is another important reason for using the device, in addition to our personal benefit. As more people use it and share the data, we could create, for the first time, crowdsourced, detailed, real-time maps of the air pollution in our cities. These maps will help us not only choose the cleaner commute but will allow community members to “see” air pollution, flag issues, and start doing something about them. The team is working with public health researchers to ensure that TZOA’s sensor is closely correlating with governmental sensors and it provides dependable data.
Tzoa is currently looking for ambassadors around the world to represent it and to raise awareness about air quality issues.