Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

A low-tech sensing system for particulate pollution

  • Author(s): Kuznetsov, S
  • Hudson, SE
  • Paulos, E
  • et al.
Abstract

We present an ultra low-cost sensing system, which enables participants to see and reflect on the particulates in their air. Drawing on prior work in paper computing, we introduce small sensors for particulate pollution that can be easily assembled from common paper materials for less than $1 USD, and mailed by regular postal service to residents of entire neighborhoods, cities, or geographic regions. Recipients collect particulate samples using these sensors and mail them back to a central location, where the particles are viewed and analyzed via a microscope. The data, which includes rich images of actual air pollution particles, can then be broadcast to larger audiences. This paper details the design of our system and its deployment with a local air quality activist community. We conclude by highlighting the tradeoffs between high-tech and low-tech sensing, and suggest opportunities for tangible interaction to support rich, new ways of seeing our environment. Copyright 2014 ACM.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View