Acer introduced a new air monitor today, aptly called the Acer Air Monitor. It checks on air quality in real time and indicates what it’s picking up on through its companion phone app. The monitor also includes LED lights that indicate the quality. (Those lights will turn off when it’s dark in the room.) Acer says people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, so it’s important to give them information on what they’re breathing. Typically I think outdoor air is dirtier than indoor air, but maybe both are equally bad. Maybe nowhere is safe, except for Caribbean islands?
The Air Monitor tracks six quality indicators: Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC), carbon dioxide, PM2.5, PM10, temperature, and humidity. From what I can tell, these are legitimate measures of air quality, but I don’t know how easy it’ll be to bring those levels down to where you want. Still, when those indicators exceed a specific level, a push notification can be set up to let users know. And because the device works with IFTTT, air filtering devices can be triggered to turn on at that time, too. The Air Monitor will be available in Q2 of this year in “selected countries.” I’m not sure which countries will be included. Price will also vary.
We don’t normally think of Acer as a smart home product developer, but it’s worth noting that multiple startups and crowdfunding campaigns have focused on air quality monitors and purifiers. Some devices do both. Clearly all these companies think there’s a growing need for tech that’ll tell us we’re breathing in complete garbage. I’m unsure whether this data will help or just make us more paranoid, but maybe awareness is a good first step.