Breathe easy: Atmotube is a pocket-sized personal air quality detector

If you’ve ever looked around you and wondered about the changes in air quality that the human eye can’t see, Atmotube is the gadget for you. The pocket-sized personal air quality detector analyzes your surroundings and alerts you to harmful or dangerous particles in the air — making it perfect for concerned citizens, inquiring minds, asthmatics, and anyone with allergies.

Atmotube’s internal sensors can detect 127 volatile organic compounds, including carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. It works by collecting a sample of air and then analyzing the concentration of certain particles inside it — at which point a color-changing LED in the body flashes blue to show excellent air quality and shifts to red to warn of danger. Atmotube’s mobile app then provides an air quality score and details the atmospheric particle breakdown.

Air pollution is a global problem, but air quality detection hasn’t always been an easy task. This handheld device eliminates the need for heavy duty equipment and calculation tools. Atmotube creators Vera Kozyr and Igor Mikhnenko found revealing results in particularly polluted cities like Beijing and Moscow, but air quality is also a concern right here in the United States, particularly when it comes to cars. “We find that when we’re in traffic, and we have the windows open the air quality goes down!” said Mikhnenko.

The Atmotube app will be particularly useful it can make relevant suggestions to improve air quality. For example, Mikhnenko and Kozyr found that air quality readings improved when they closed the car windows and turned on the air conditioning. The team believes that creating awareness around air quality will start a path towards improving it around the world. Atmotube will also crowdsource user data to create a network of air quality information in its mobile app.

Atmotube launched on Indiegogo last week, and they’re less than $8,000 away from their funding goal of $52,000. The early bird perks have all been snatched up, but a pledge of $85 will score you your very own Titanium Atmotube. Larger pledges will earn backers different color options, and if all goes according to plan with production, Atmotubes will ship out to consumers by March 2016.