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Londres, Royaume-Uni, Aug 14, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Air pollution: French startup Plume Labs choose London to test "Flow", a connected personal sensor

Designed by French start-up Plume Labs and unveiled at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the smart air-quality tracker Flow is now undergoing testing in London.


Parisian start-up Plume Labs has chosen London and not renowned pollution hotspot Beijing as the location for testing of Flow, its smart air-quality tracker. And it’s all for one very good reason: “London is where Frog, the design company we’re working with, and all the scientific partners working on behavioural sciences applied to environmental policies, are based,” said Plume Labs founder Romain Lacombe to french website Usine Digitale.


Tested in real conditions


The Flow prototype is being tested by around 100 volunteers in real conditions in the British capital. As the CEO added, their view is that they are on a mission: “They’re people who are concerned about the issue and want to understand it better,” added the CEO.

Plume Labs hopes testing will allow it to gain a better understanding of how users perceive information on pollution and the actions they take in response, and has already acquired information on the behaviour of most of the app’s users. “We already know that three-quarters of them have changed their behaviour based on the information that we publish,” explained Lacombe.


Measuring pollution and VOCs in the air


Designed after many months of research and developed in partnership with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Flow air-quality tracker connects to a mobile app via Bluetooth. Presented at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, the tracker measures the presence of fine particles of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. It can also gauge air humidity and temperature, explains Objet Connecté.

Colour-coded LEDs show the user the level of air pollution to which they are exposed. The discrete aluminium tracker has a little leather handle and can be attached to a rucksack, bike or pushchair.

“It allows customers to better understand their environment so that they can take care of themselves better and avoid being exposed to the most polluted areas,” added Lacombe.


A global pollution map


In March the start-up also began fitting the tracker to pigeons to measure London’s air quality in real time.

Plume Labs is also looking to build a global community by pooling data collated from each user to create an accurate map of pollution levels in the biggest cities on the planet.

The start-up has also made an API solution available to companies looking to develop projects. Drawing on data collated in real time, city pollution records and machine learning algorithms, it will provide air pollution forecasts.

Though the retail price and launch date have yet to be announced, Flow should be available to pre-order in the next few months.


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