PROJECT GOAL: The burden of poor air quality falls on the shoulders of all, yet, it falls harder on certain communities. This project intends to provide a solution to this well-established equity issue through the development of a device that is able to detect and monitor harmful substances in the air.
The key information that we’ve gathered from our research from users is that the device should be affordable, easy to interpret, and portable. Many devices on the market require background knowledge to both operate and understand. We want all customers to be able to effectively operate the device to obtain accurate and reliable data even if they do not have a technical or science background. Users have a variety of options for how they would like the data to be reported. Some preferred a phone app that would allow them to monitor the data from a distance. Others wanted the screen built into the device since they did not feel confident in using an app. Users agreed that they would like an auditory alert, similar to a smoke detector system, when dangerous levels of pollutants were detected. Many potential buyers we spoke to were unaware of the dangers of poor air quality and the benefits of monitoring their surrounding air. Though they were interested in analyzing their own air quality, they were not willing to buy an expensive device which meant that throughout the design process, the final manufacturing cost was an important factor.