#UnmaskMyCity Project uses LEDs to Visually Indicate Surrounding Air Pollution Levels
Greg McNevin – of light painting radiation acclaim – is back with a new project aimed at highlighting a city’s localized pollution levels visually with colored LEDs inside a recognizable facemask. The project is titled Unmask My City — the more problematic the pollution, the more prevalent the masks where you live.
When it comes to health and air pollution, masks are a common symbol.
However, masks are an ineffective solution to protecting public health from air pollution. People often wear surgical masks (like those worn by doctors) to protect themselves from polluted air, but these masks do not create a seal around the mouth and so allow dirty air to be breathed in from the sides. People who wear the more expensive and properly fitting N95 variety of mask (known as respirators) are better protected, however these masks make breathing more difficult and therefore may not be recommended for people with respiratory disease.
To highlight the personal risks posed by air pollution, Unmask My City has developed a special LED light mask that changes colour according to live air pollution measurements. Using an AirBeam air quality monitor and AirCasting software we can map PM2.5 particulate pollution, and show how good or bad the air is in real time as the data streams to our light mask.
The masks themselves display one of four colors to indicate pollution levels: green, yellow, orange, or red. The colors are based on AQICN.
Watch the video below to see more inspiration behind the project and checkout their website here.
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, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, 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.