Review of the portable air quality metre Breathe|Smart, which ensures that you are breathing clean air.

PROS 

  • Works well
  • Portable, beautiful design
  • Exceptionally easy to put into use
  • There is no mobile app.
  • A rather long battery life

CONS 

The healthier and calmer we are, the cleaner the air we breathe. Regrettably, billions of people all over the world are put in danger by being exposed to harmful particles. Despite the fact that it differs from place to region, individuals who reside in cities are often the ones who are most affected. According to research done on the topic, the benefits of walking or exercising outside can even be nullified if one is exposed to polluted air during the activity.

Because of an explosion of new products, monitoring the quality of the air in your environment is currently simpler than it has ever been before. Breathe|Smart is one of the few of these that can be used both indoors and outside, although most of them can only be used within your house or business.

Design 

Breathe|Smart was initially funded through a campaign on Indiegogo. It was able to raise more than $30,000 at the beginning of this year in order to support manufacturing. Although we’ve all heard stories about spectacularly unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns, this was actually a creation that lived up to all of its claims. Breathe|Smart was delivered on schedule to its more than 200 backers, and the product is currently on sale to the general public.

The primary component, a charging dock, a USB-C charging cable, a wall charger, and a strap are all included in the package that the thing arrives in. The design of the primary component is chic and somewhat condensed. It can be held in the palm of your hand because its dimensions are only 68 mm by 40 mm by 27 mm. However, with a weight of 75 grammes, it is noticeably heavier than it appears.

The fact that Breathe|Smart is so easily transportable is one of its many appealing features. Place it in the charging station whenever you are at home. It will assess the air quality there and present the results on the display that has a 1.54-inch TFT capacitive touch screen while simultaneously charging the battery.

Simply lifting it out of its cradle will allow it to continue analysing the quality of the air around you even when you are moving about. You may attach Breathe|Smart to the handles of your handbag or rucksack by using the handle that is located on the rear of the device. You may also attach it to your bicycle, stroller, or pram by using the strap that is included in the packaging.

However, you shouldn’t attach it to the outside in order to make it a permanent installation. The monitor is not watertight and was not intended to be used in that manner.

The huge display takes up most of the space of the primary unit. This demonstrates that certain particles, notably PM2.5, are present in the atmosphere. This refers to particles with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres, which is equivalent to 3% of the width of a human hair.

Due to the fact that they are capable of penetrating lungs and bloodstreams, they should be avoided at all costs and are regarded as one of the most lethal forms of air pollution. Due to the fact that these molecules are so minute, they have a greater propensity to linger in the air for a longer period of time than heavier particles. Dust, ash, vehicle emissions, smoking cigarettes, manufacturing facilities, and building sites are some forms of air pollution.

If you position Breathe|Smart such that it is very close to your ear, you will be able to detect a very faint whistling sound. This is due to the fact that the mechanism draws air into the gadget through the side vents so that it can function. The sensor comes into contact with the air, and it employs a technology called laser scattering to determine the number of minuscule air pollutants as well as their size each and every second.

Because of this, it is able to react quickly and accurately to even the most subtle changes in the quality of the air. Observing the numbers as they jumped significantly in either direction in response to the shifting conditions was a fascinating experience.

The life of the battery is not terrible. When removed from its charging cradle, the device’s 850mAh Lithium-ion Polymer battery has the capacity to keep it operational for around 8 hours. This may not seem like a big deal, but the Breathe|Smart is most effective when it is left in the charging dock at home or at the office, where it can continue to function indefinitely after being charged. The second possibility is to connect the charging cord straight to the gadget itself. On the display is a battery indicator that will indicate when it is time to charge the device.

In this scenario, the screen remains illuminated at all times. When the device is removed from its charging cradle, the display turns off after a short period of time to conserve battery life. When you press the actual button that’s located on the front of it, it comes to life. Even when the primary display is turned off, you will still be able to check the air quality thanks to the colour-coded LED lights that are located on the sides of the device.

Putting It to Use 

This has had to be one of the easiest products that I have ever evaluated. It is not necessary to follow the manual at this time. Turning it on after a few minutes will show you a reading of the current air quality. All you have to do is place it in the charging cradle to get the battery to start charging. There is no need for calibration because everything works as it should right out of the box. Because it is self-cleaning, BREATHE|Smart does not require any maintenance on your part.

Apps for smartphones are now included with the majority of smart technology sold in today’s market. It’s nice to know that Breathe|Smart doesn’t do that. My mobile device is cluttered with dozens upon dozens of apps, many of which have been sitting there unused for years. When using Breathe|Smart, there is no need to install anything, no need to verify your information or make an account, and no need to scoop up your smartphone in order to see your readings. All of these steps are unnecessary. Brilliant!

The device is intended to assist you in making adjustments to your lifestyle so that you can breathe cleaner air, not just within your home but also in the surrounding environment. It is a little-known truth, but if you take different routes, you can cut down on your intake by as much as half of what it would be otherwise. In addition, there are instances when throwing open a window in your house to bring in some fresh air is not the best course of action.

A single physical key is located on the front of the main device, as was previously indicated. When you do so, a drop-down menu will appear, containing the options Air Quality, History, the Breathe|Score, and Settings respectively. Then all you need to do to get around is tap the touchscreen wherever you want to go.

When you click on Air Quality, you will be brought to the main display, which is also the display that is always on by default. You can see at a glance if there is a cause for concern based on the colour coding that has been applied to everything. The display also provides guidance on how to limit exposure when there is a rise in the level of air pollution; however, I did not find this information to be particularly helpful. The air quality score was all the information I required, and now I know whether or not to leave the location if the air quality is poor and whether or not to open the windows.

You will need to make some adjustments to the settings before you use Breathe|Smart for the first time. This gives you the ability to set the time and date, the language, the display brightness and timeout, the alarm volume and amplification level, as well as other options. After that has been completed, you are free to proceed.

Night Mode is another feature that ought to be mentioned. When this option is selected, the display will have lower brightness and the LED side lights will turn off. You can activate the setting by tapping the touchscreen, or you can push the physical button 3 times in quick succession.

The simplicity with which one may operate the apparatus is what struck me as most remarkable about it. And the fact that it is effective in its own right. I believe that this is due, at least in part, to the absence of smartphone software, as well as the requirement for a Bluetooth connection or WiFi connectivity.

Information and key insights 

To give you an idea of how polluted the air is around you, Breathe|Smart provides you with numbers that are based on the Air Quality Index (AOI) developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. If the number is higher, then the concentration of PM2.5 in the air is also higher. Everything is presented in a clear and legible manner on the display, which uses colour coding.

Even though PM2.5 is not the only indicator of pollution, it is still an extremely significant one. According to the available data, being exposed to particles of this type ranks as the fifth biggest cause of death around the globe. They are responsible for more sickness than the sum of all other environmental factors combined, and they can bring about a variety of ailments, including a heart attack, an irregular pulse, worsened asthma, and impaired lung function. Children and the elderly are at an increased risk because of this.

On the display, everything is shown in real-time, and the air quality monitor has a quick response time. Even mundane activities like using chemicals to clean your apartment can have an impact on the readings.

Even at its most understated, I sometimes felt the gadget to be overly dramatic. If the warning that the air must be evacuated immediately because it contains potentially harmful particles after you have cooked anything in the oven does not convince you to open the windows, nothing else will. If you do this, you can watch the values drop off rapidly as the quality of the air continues to improve.

In addition, the display has a button that you can press to navigate to the camera’s exposure history. This provides a concise description as well as a chart of the levels of pollution to which you were subjected over the course of the most recent twenty-four, fifty, and thirty-one hours.

In my situation, it indicated that I had been subjected to good air 79% of the time during the course of the previous month, while I had been exposed to moderate air 21% of the time. My exposure to unhealthy and highly harmful air was at a level that was not significant enough for the statistics to reflect it.

In addition to that, there is something known as Breathe|Score. This is updated once every hour with an estimate of your exposure over the previous twelve hours. The score begins at 50 in this game. It should be your goal to try to get it up to 100 and then maintain it at that level. This is a rolling value, and below it is a graph of the most recent twenty-four hours along with a breakdown of the data.

The final decision 

Breathe|Smart left a very favourable impression on me. The device is extremely user-friendly, not to mention lightweight and quick to react to alterations in the air quality. Because you don’t require a smartphone app, there isn’t one available. On the display, you can find out anything and everything that you require to know.

Place it back in the charging dock whenever you are at home, and it will continue to perform its functions. Take it off before you leave the house. The device is extremely portable and may be attached to a variety of different things, including luggage, bicycles, prams, and strollers. Due to the fact that the laser sensor is constantly taking readings, you will always be aware of the quantity of particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air.

However, I do wish Breathe|Smart was able to perform a few additional functions. Possibly monitors CO2 levels, as well as those of other harmful chemicals, as well as temperature and humidity. Perhaps we’ll see that in version 2 of the programme. However, it totally delivers on what it promises to do. The Breathe|Smart is, all things considered, an informative small device that will result in you inhaling cleaner air.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each product is given by the company as a contribution to ongoing reforestation initiatives in the countries of Madagascar, Indonesia, Mozambique, Haiti, and Nepal.

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