We love our Airthings setup (made up of the Wave Plus, Wave Mini and Hub) and it was especially exciting when it visualised the changes to our indoor air quality when we moved out of our temporary accommodation into the new house with its MVHR system.
Øyvind Birkenes is the Chief Executive Officer of Airthings, and the company is on a mission to ensure that people around the world take control of their Indoor Air Quality. Birkenes brings over 20 years of industry experience, along with a technical background that has earned him the position of CEO at this Norwegian tech company.
Hi Øyvind, can you sum up the Airthings mission for us, what is the ultimate goal for the company?
Airthings is on a mission to ensure people around the world recognise the impact of indoor air quality and take control of their health through simple, sustainable, and accessible technology solutions—making radon and air quality monitors an essential and universal element of every building.
We’ve been really fascinated with the data from our Airthings devices, especially the startling change it was able to show us when we moved into the new Automated Home with its MVHR (see graph below). But is it difficult to get people interested in their own air quality?
There is still insufficient awareness of the impact indoor air quality has on our health. But the reality is that we spend on average 90% of our time indoors where concentrations of damaging pollutants are between two to five times higher than outdoors. Long-term exposure to indoor air pollution can cause a variety of health issues. By building awareness, we can protect people from preventable diseases like lung cancer. Monitoring the air quality in your home is the easiest step you can take to ensure the air you and your family breathe is as healthy as can be. Once you understand what’s causing a problem, you can make small changes to your habits and take actions to reduce the effects of these air pollutants.
It was great to add the new Hub to our system which means our sensors are all online now. Can you tell us about the tech behind the Airthings SmartLink system?
Airthings SmartLink is a form of long-range wireless communication, developed by Airthings. It is based on the Sub-1 GHz communication protocol and it is designed for long-range robust connectivity of up to approx 100m/ 330ft. The Hub allows you to stay connected to your devices and access up to date data from anywhere using SmartLink and the internet, instead of Bluetooth.
There’s a lot of publicity surrounding the harmful effects of PM2.5. Have you considered adding a sensor for these particulates?
We’re always looking for ways to improve our products, so all I can say is stay tuned!
Our Wave Mini sensor has recently gained a new mold detection feature with over the air software updates. It’s always great to wake up to new features, are you using machine learning for this and will we see more new features delivered this way in the future?
The Mold Risk Indicator is a virtual sensor that applies a proprietary algorithm to existing data from our sensors to provide the likelihood of mold growth in an indoor location. Virtual sensors are an innovative way to leverage existing data to derive new insights.
You acquired the energy-saving sensor firm – Airtight – last year. What plans do you have for the future here and will we see new hardware from Airthings that incorporates energy-saving sensors?
Optimizing energy usage and indoor air in buildings is a cost-effective way to significantly reduce unnecessary carbon emissions. About 10% of energy consumption can be saved by optimizing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and, on average,15% of energy consumption can be saved by aligning indoor and outdoor pressure. By combining Airtight’s and Airthings’ technologies we can offer an all-in-one solution to improve energy efficiency while ensuring a safe and productive indoor environment for our business customers. Our goal is to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of both people and the planet.
Do you have an open API that we could use, for example, to feed our Airthings sensor data into our Loxone home automation system or vice versa?
Currently, only our solution for businesses offers an open API in addition to other integrations. Our API for Consumers is currently not open to the public but we do support integrations with Google Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT.
Thank you again, where is the best place to find out more about Airthings?