Archana and I are working on developing a smoke detector that identifies a change in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by using an infrared emitter and detector as described by Eric Rosenthal. We are in the process of developing functioning circuits with various IR sensors to figure out functionality, sensitivity and calibration, but we have identified two other major phases of development:
1) Transmitting the data received by the IR sensor through the microphone port in a mobile phone and developing a basic interface for this information to be displayed/accessed.
2) Site specific application development. This concept was originally developed for the purposes of detecting secondhand smoke in the Philippines, Malaysia and more recently, the UAE. Since this is ultimately about changing behavior in users, the mobile application would need to be quite culturally specific to these different test sites for maximum effectiveness. A universal application may produce some results, but researching the nuances of sites, and working with the organization deploying the devices to youth to produce something in dialect and tone that reflects their goals, would ultimately be more successful.
Our goals for this class are to get the detector, wireframe and barebones application functioning to open the product up to developers here and abroad.
Here’s an article on another opensource air pollution detector: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/from-radiation-to-smog-numbers-for-the-public/
Our initial debriefing on different sensors
Pitch for SecondhandSmokeHack