A Pollution Solution

The ambient one is an air quality monitor made for creators, by creators, that detects key pollutants and alerts users via a smartphone app.

Nick Bild
1 month ago β€’ Sensors
ambient one measures indoor air quality in workspaces (πŸ“·: Ambient Works)

When setting up a workspace, creative engineers tend to focus on the primary tools of their trade, like a soldering iron, 3D printer, laser cutter, and whatever else may be needed. As they gain experience in plying their craft, that equipment tends to accumulate into piles that reach to the ceiling of an often fairly small space that can hardly contain all of it. There may be a tool for every job in such a workspace, but we tend to forget about another very important factor β€” indoor air quality.

Soldering, 3D printing, and so on, release some nasty chemicals into the air. When these types of activities are carried out repeatedly in a small, confined space, the air quality can get bad enough to be a health concern. Perhaps the room could be aired out, or air filtration systems could be set up, but how do we know if we have a problem in the first place? Within the mountains of equipment that so many of us own, an accurate air quality monitor is not likely to be found.

A London-based Kickstarter campaign is looking to set this situation right. A team called Ambient Works has recently announced the development of an air quality monitor, named ambient one, that was designed specifically for creators. It is packaged into a slick little case with some magnets that allow you to stick it just about anywhere so that it can stay out of the way while it does its work. It also comes with a companion smartphone app to alert you of any potential issues, so you do not need to remember to check in on the ambient one throughout the day.

The device contains high-quality sensors to measure several key pollutants that are commonly found in the workspaces of creators β€” particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. It can also sense temperature and humidity, which may not be harmful to you, but may cause problems for your equipment or 3D prints. It was also noted that the ambient one is expandable and additional sensing options are planned for the future, with formaldehyde sensing coming first.

Of course this device can only alert you to a problem, but does not offer a solution. So you will need to mitigate any issues on your own β€” but unless you know there is a problem, you cannot fix it, which makes ambient one very attractive to the serious creator that spends a lot of time in their workspace.

The device has not yet been manufactured, and there are still some things to work out. As such, there is a risk that the timeline could shift or that the devices may never be delivered. But the present target delivery date is December of 2024. Costs start at about $127 if you don’t mind assembling a kit, or $191 if you want it pre-assembled. That seems pretty reasonable for such a polished device. Check out the Kickstarter page for all the details.

Nick Bild
R&D, creativity, and building the next big thing you never knew you wanted are my specialties.
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