Networking air quality measurements

The Air Quality Egg provides accurate citizen-driven air quality tracking

By Mark Gibbs, Network World |  Green IT

Third, the basic version measures Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), temperature and humidity. The choice of NO2 and CO is based on high levels of those gases being indicative of poor air quality, while the temperature and humidity measurements are used to correct the gas sensors readings which are affected by both factors.

Fourth and finally, they delivered! This is in sharp contrast to a few Kickstarter projects, such as the Eyez project, which is now more than a year overdue on delivering and has failed miserably in keeping its backers updated.

My Air Quality Egg (AQE) arrived yesterday and I'm impressed by the engineering but less so by a couple of design decisions.

In the box you get two egg-shaped units each measuring about 5 inches by 5 inches by 3.5 inches, one of which, the base station, has an Ethernet port. Before you power up the base station you have to first go to http://airqualityegg.com/ and enter the MAC address of your AQE to register it with the data capture system called Cosm. The site's home page also shows the locations of all registered AQEs worldwide.

The MAC address is printed on a sticker on the box lid but it would seem obvious that the sticker really should be on the base station itself because, unless you're a pack rat, you're going to throw the box away (I peeled the sticker off the box and luckily it had enough glue to stick to the base station).

Once you've provided the MAC address, a name for your AQE, it's location, elevation, and whether it is indoors or outdoors, and then completed the rest of the registration, you can fire up the base station.

The base station then uses DHCP to get a local IP address as well as DNS and gateway addresses and connects to the data storage and control service called Cosm (formerly called "Pachube").

Cosm provides a secure, scalable platform which accepts, stores and displays data in real time. You can provide data from any source in XML, JSON and CSV data formats using either push or pull via their RESTful API or their socket-server. Cosm can also generate notifications based on simple data value changes via Twitter and HTTP POSTs to any URL you please.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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