Smartphones May Soon Double As Air Pollution Monitors

Smartphonelt almost doesn’t matter what you do — your smartphone, tablet, or mobile device has probably helped you do it better or more efficiently, in one way or another. No matter what it is you’re trying to accomplish, your smartphone or tablet has a way to help you accomplish it in serious style, and it can get to the point where it’s pretty incredible to imagine that these devices are actually only a few years old. The modern smartphone as we know it didn’t exist until Apple introduced the very first iPhone back in 2007, and since then other manufacturers and developers have created products to rival the best Apple has to offer. In 2010, however, Apple changed the game once again by introducing the world to its current idea of the tablet computer in the form of the iPad. It’s tough to believe that the modern tablet is basically only three years old, but these devices have become pretty ubiquitous and are used by nearly everyone these days. It’s not just the tech-savvy that are carrying smartphones and tablet devices in their pockets, anymore, and the ways that we’ve been able to harness this technology have been astounding. One of the most recent developments has allowed us to turn out smartphones into devices that can help monitor air quality, thanks to an invention by some engineering students at USD in Southern California.

Cities like Long Beach, Los Angeles, and San Diego in Southern California see a lot of traffic from large ships and boats — something that isn’t really conducive to the cleanest air around. For those living in an area like these ones, air quality can be a serious concern. Students from the University of California San Diego have invented a smartphone app called CitiSense that will use a network of sensors to relay information about the atmosphere and air quality to users’ smartphones and/or tablets.

At present, CitiSense has about 100 sensors hovering around the San Diego area. Individuals that have the application installed on their smartphone or tablet computer will be able to take a look at the air quality in the blink of an eye. This is something that’s especially valuable to those of us with severe allergies or other health concerns. What’s more is that an app like CitiSense has implications beyond just helping people know how clean the air is around them. The information provided by the application’s sensors can provide institutions like the Environmental Protection Agency with valuable data to help them understand air quality and pollution even better than they do now.

An application like CitiSense is just one more way that modern smartphones and tablets are proving themselves to be good for more than just Twitter and Facebook, and might make that iPhone insurance really worth the money you paid for it. If you’re concerned about the air quality in your area, you can use an app like CitiSense to rest easy and know that you’re breathing clean air, no matter what.