Can Crowdfunded Citizen Science Improve Urban Air Quality? | green streets |
Can citizen science clean up the air? Maybe, if it’s using Air Quality Egg: a small internet-enabled sensor designed to help crowdsource pollution maps.

Final designs for the Egg are still being tested, but it has already raised $120,000 on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, and the first production run is planned for the late summer. It’s envisaged that an individual Egg will sell for around $100, with DIY kits from $40.

The hardware is described as ‘open source’, and uses off-the-shelf components to keep costs down and encourage owners to customise and improve upon it. Initial designs suggest it will be, as its name implies, a smooth egg shape, able to sit in the hand or be placed on a shelf or desk.

When complete, a series of passive sensors inside the Egg will analyse air as it passes through the device. These will use a variety of electromagnetic, chemical and optical techniques to detect concentrations of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, temperature and humidity, with optional extra sensors for ozone, particulates and radiation. Results are uploaded directly to data clearing house Cosm (formerly known as Pachube), where they can be viewed as an individual reading or as part of an area map...