The need for indoor air quality monitoring solutions hasn’t stopped increasing due to two main factors. The market is constantly demanding tailored solutions to meet Green Building standards and, of course, Covid19. Many have bought cheap and generic indoor AQ monitors from big retail stores, but after a while, they realized that their money went down the drain as there is nothing they can do with the data they obtained for two reasons. The AQ monitors didn’t keep the measurements or the accuracy of the data was poor.
Here comes Atmocube, a new indoor air quality monitor designed entirely to meet occupants’ requirements for indoor air quality. The design language is modern and functional. I underlined functional because you don’t need to be an expert to understand what is wrong with the IAQ and which specific parameter you need to address, I will explain more about it in a minute. Finally, the monitor is full of superb sensors, nine to be exact.
Specifications for the Default Configuration
- CO2 Sensor
- PM1, PM2.5, PM10 Sensor
- TVOC Sensor
- Formaldehyde Sensor
- Temperature Sensor
- Relative Humidity Sensor
- Atmospheric Pressure Sensor
- Ambient Light Intensity Sensor
- Background Noise Level Sensor
- RGB LED panel
- Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4GHz)
- Bluetooth 4.1
- USB-C 5V at 2A
- On-Device Storage
Atmocube has some unique features that can speed up the process of deployment when a building requires lots of monitors, like in an office building or a school. The Bluetooth interface is there to help the engineers set up faster the monitors with a mobile phone or tablet. An alternative method is to use a simple USB-A flash drive that contains the credentials (passwords and SSID names) to connect the device to the local WiFi network. Interestingly, inside the configuration file inside the USB flash drive you can also include parameters about the LED indicators, enable or disable security features, and more. This is advanced setup method for those who needs to change these settings. Just pure genius because imagine having to set up +100 units one by one.
Some companies don’t want the AQMs connected to the main WiFi network (for security reasons), for this reason, the monitor supports other interfaces like POE, LTE, NB-IoT, Lora, and HVAC direct wiring, but you have to request them.
The front tile with the ATMO logo is customizable, which means you can remove it and replace it with a different tile that has the logo of the company that deploys it or anything you can imagine.
I love the On-Device Storage, I think it really can save the day when WiFi communication goes bad. The device can store up to one week (measurements in one-minute intervals) for all nine parameters.
Here is a comparison between the Atmocube and a RESET certified AQM from a competitor. These are the CO2 concentrations from both monitors. To access the comparison data for all sensors, make sure to subscribe.
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App & Dashboard
The device comes with two separate free apps. One (Atmocube Business.app) for the deployment team which will only help you set up the monitor to the network and another one (Atmocube: Indoor Air Quality.app) for the occupants of the building that want to read the measurements.
The dashboard is simple and features all the necessary tools a building manager needs to understand and manage indoor air quality. Histograms and alerts are the most basic. Moreover, the dashboard allows users to upload building schematics with floors and organize the monitors effortlessly.
We can see from the screenshot below that there is an ability to read all measurements in real-time, even absolute humidity, just by hovering over the monitor.
Finally, the dashboard offers light/dark mode for those who prefer to work with a light user interface or those like myself who prefer dark mode. Last but not least, administrators can personalize the dashboard with their logo and name.
My favorite feature of the device is the RGB LED panel which indicates the environmental and air quality parameters. With a simple glance, you can spot the parameter that you need to adjust. For example, if CO2 indoors is too high the specific tile on the panel will turn yellow or red depending on the concentration, and immediately you can fix your indoor air quality.
The setup process is very easy, especially with the USB flash drive. Just visit the config site type the WiFi credentials, your personal threshold for the LEDs per parameter, and you are ready to deploy as many units as you wish. However, I wish there were a clear statement from the beginning of the documentation that there are two separate mobile apps.
Hardware-wise, I see that ATMO has designed and offers a solid solution, and I can’t wait to see future improvements of the Atmocube users app as I miss the histograms on my mobile app, personally.
All in all, Atmocube has done a great job in developing an Indoor AQ monitor with all the essential tools to make it a big success. The basic configuration supports many common protocols like MQTT, Modbus RTU, and Modbus TCP, but it has many upgradeable options, including BACnet IP, backup battery, PoE, Occupancy sensor, O3, CO sensors, and many more thanks to the dual modularity (internally and externally).