Air Quality data that make sense for the average users

Have you ever used an app that will help you relax? Well I have, one of them is Apple’s Breathe app that can be found in the Apple Watch since WatchOS 3. The idea behind the app is that a steady breathing technique will help you relax and hopefully reduce heart rate pulses. Great app but I think Apple or any other developer should combine Air Quality (AQ) data with their breathing/meditation app.

In a mockup that I designed based on Apple’s Breathe app (I chose Apple’s Breathe app for its simplicity and effectiveness), I placed the Air Quality Index (AQI) information inside the app and depending on the AQ at that period the user will be prompted to avoid breathing deeply when the AQ is unhealthy or to adjust the duration when the AQ is good and start. In case the AQ is unhealthy a reminder will notify the user to come back for a breathing session later when the air is healthy enough for deep breaths.

Breathe app

This method makes more sense for everyday people. The average user doesn’t understand complex scientific numbers/terms or how to act when AQ is depleted, for this reason, this is a great way to engage people to take a closer look at the air quality. Air quality data can be obtained from outdoor reference stations/monitors (less user accuracy) or indoor air quality monitors (better user accuracy).

Meditation/Breathing apps like Calm, Headspace, Relax Melodies, etc have had over 52 million downloads and with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43%.

graph CAGR

Conclusion

I believe that services are the next big thing in the air quality industry and in order to offer something new we have to think out of the box and help people understand via real-life actionable data. There are a lot of consumer air quality monitors that could benefit by adopting my idea and embedding it into their app. Statistical data seem to indicate that costumers will love it.

2 thoughts on “Air Quality data that make sense for the average users

  1. The idea makes sense. But it could work properly only if the Apple watch took its AQI measurements directly (or through the phone that is connected with it) from a portable air quality device like a Flow or a AtmoTube that reads the Air Quality in real time and right there where you and your watch are at that moment.

    Otherwise if the readings came from a sensor placed somewhere else, you would never be able to exactly know what air you are really breathing, and you might do more harm to yourself than good by following the Breathe/AQI insights from your watch.

    Example: Breezometer is one of the most applauded air quality companies whose phone application seems to be doing a very good job at showing the air quality even at street-to-street level. But it fails miserably in cities like Athens, Greece in winter, when it can’t work out the thousands of fireplaces and wood stoves that pour their fumes in the city’s air, making it absolutely intolerable. Breezometer seems to be working well with traffic pollution, but not with pollution caused by heating systems. So, when Breezometer tells me that we have a good AQI outside on a nice windless winter evening in Athens, but in reality the air is foul and really dangerous to be breathed in, then the apple watch and Breathe App would do me a big harm if they would use Breezometer as their AQI source. Only a portable AQ sensor paired with the phone and watch could really tell me what air I am breathing in real time, 24/7 and 365 day/year. It is the only solution that I would accept.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes you are absolutely right. My complaint regarding Apple AQ data is that is more US focused and the company forgets EU cities.

      In the article I talk about less user accuracy when data come from an outdoor monitor/station and better accuracy when AQ data come from an indoor sensor this is the reason I recommended companies like Atmotube, Awair, IQAir, Flow, Wynd, Airthings, etc to adopt in their app such function or to collaborate with existing Meditation/Breathing apps like Headspace, Calm, Relax Melodies, etc..

      Like

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