Do People Want a Crowdsourced Air Quality Monitor?

Test of Project SensorWeb in Taipei

In our last update on Project SensorWeb, we shared the results of a small poster test in Taipei, where we were trying to gauge consumer interest in hyper-local air quality information, specifically, particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less (PM2.5). Since then, the team wanted to understand what percentage of consumers of this data would actually like to contribute to the network. So, we set out to design the following test, which is now running to a small group of users in Taipei.

How many website visitors would want to “Get a Sensor?”

In addition to having a sensor page that displays the closest, current PM2.5 reading on our network, we’re going to ask users simply if they’d like to get a sensor. A click on this button will provide a first level of insight into what percentage of our users have some kind of interest in measuring PM2.5 on their own. From there, we’ll present them with three options: Buy a Sensor, DIY a Sensor and Get Notified.

Are you willing to “Buy a Sensor?”
We are considering the idea of helping bring to market a consumer-oriented PM2.5 sensor that people could place on their balcony. It would not only serve the buyer with the air quality information at the point of installation, but it would also share its readings publicly on the network. For this test, anyone showing interest in buying a sensor will need to provide us with an email address to be notified on availability and the location they wish to monitor.

Can you build a do-it-yourself sensor?
Within the connected devices group here at Mozilla, we know that we will need to support a track for communities to develop their own solutions via an open platform. So, we would plan the same for Project SensorWeb, where we’d have an API and SDK for contributors to build their own sensors to push data to the public network. Developers can sign-up for the API, and we will provide a key when we are ready for our next round of community contributions.

Do you want to know when a sensor is installed near you?
Finally, we want to make air quality information available anywhere people say it matters most, even if they cannot afford or build a sensor. So, we’re accepting requests from consumers to “Get Notified” when a sensor gets installed nearby. We’ll consider using this information to help us figure out where there is demand so we can work with citizens, governments and community organizations to bring sensor data where it’s needed. In the meantime, if someone puts up a sensor nearby, you’d get a notice to check the website for the new, nearby air quality information.

We’re excited to take the Project SensorWeb experiment to this next stage, and like the previous test, we plan on sharing the results following a few weeks of data and analysis. Meanwhile, you can check out our project wiki page if you are looking for any other details. Thank you for all the great feedback so far.

–Cindy Hsiang
Product Manager of Project SensorWeb

No responses yet

Post a comment

Post Your Comment