Air pollution is a staggering worldwide problem. Sources estimate that poor air quality costs the United States alone over $78 billion dollars annually. The negative impacts of air pollution rank it among the most serious and widespread human health hazards in the world. Breathing dirty air causes chronic illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis and contributes to terminal illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Unfortunately, despite the very real impacts air pollution has on our every day lives, it often goes unnoticed because it is largely invisible. In addition, because government-run air quality monitoring networks are sparse, publicly available air quality measurements don’t translate into an accurate assessment of personal exposure. The answer? Low-cost, portable air quality instruments. This is where YOU, AirCasting, and the AirBeam come in.
AirCasting is an open-source platform comprised of wearable devices and digital media that enables AirCasters (that’s you!) to independently and accurately collect and broadcast air quality data. But at its core, AirCasting is a DIY air monitoring movement that uses information about local environments to inform, educate, share, and ultimately improve health in communities around the world.
The AirCasting platform was built as an open-source, end-to-end solution for collecting, displaying, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. The platform consists of wearable sensors that detect changes in your environment and physiology, including a palm-sized air quality monitor called the AirBeam, the AirCasting Android app, the AirCasting crowdmapping website, and wearable LED accessories. By documenting and leveraging health and environmental data to inform personal decision-making and public policy, the AirCasting platform empowers citizen scientists and changemakers like you and me to take matters into our own hands.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.