Maker Simon Ehrenmann is looking to make carbon dioxide monitoring as simple as possible with the launch of the Grape-Express CO2-USB, a plug-and-play sensor for any USB-equipped PC — or even entirely standalone use.
"[The CO2-USB is a] device, the size of a USB memory [stick], to display and monitor the CO₂ concentration in a room, office, train, home, and anywhere visually and digitally, without any technical knowledge," Ehrenmann explains. "By displaying CO₂, the concentration and efficiency, as well as the risk of infection, can be controlled and reduced. If the light is yellow or red, you should open the windows and let fresh air into the room until the light is green."
The basic monitoring mode of the CO2-USB, inspired by Grape-Express' earlier and bulkier CO2 Traffic Light, is entirely standalone: Supply the USB sensor with power and an integrated LED will show the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the sampled air, fading from green at low concentrations through yellow to red at high concentrations.
Connected to a Windows or macOS system, though, the CO2-USB ties in to custom software. An internal memory, good for 24 hours of readings at a one-per-five-seconds rate, can be accessed for historical data, while live data can also be recorded and charted. The sensor, meanwhile, is claimed to offer ±40 to 50 parts per million (PPM) accuracy.
The Grape-Express CO2-USB is available on Kickstarter priced at CHF 49 (around $54) at early bird pricing, with hardware delivery expected to take place in July this year.