October 2015 Update
How would air quality research change if we could do studies with 300 sensors instead of 3, and what if people could wear these sensors for personal exposure studies? What if an air quality device could give mass concentration, particle count, size distribution, and didn't drift?
You may have noticed how much we at TZOA stress our focus on air quality detection of particles known as Particulate Matter PM2.5/10. More research continues to come out proving how valuable and actionable it is in everyday life. From prenatal health to white matter in the brain, and harmful diesel emissions that car manufacturers aren't proud of.. particulate matter is truly a valuable metric.
RD02 is the name of our new TZOA Research Device v2, made for researchers. Similar to how CRISPR/Cas9 technology has revolutionized genome editing, we wanted to create a tool that empowered researchers to conduct more impactful studies. More published papers and better insights are needed to solve large global air pollution problems and lower human exposure levels, whether indoors or outdoors, in the EU, U.S. or China.
We're seeing two major trends in the low-cost air quality detection space:
- More sensor modules are coming out like the Shinyei dust sensor. These off-the-shelf sensors will eventually improve in accuracy and become commoditized.
- More and more devices are coming out that use these off-the-shelf sensors and package them up as a 'real products', usable by average people. Unfortunately a lot of these companies aren't able to innovate on the hardware beyond the industrial design, and so they choose to focus on software. For example, Atmotube and Netatmo simply avoid including particulate matter, opting for tVOC/CO2 metrics combined with bold marketing materials.
Luckily, in Los Angeles, the Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) set up a state-of-the-art testing chamber to evaluate these type of devices.
The results were recently made public on their website: http://www.aqmd.gov/aq-spec/evaluations-2#&MainContent_C001_Col00=0
With their help we can educate and gain transparency on what really works, as well as understand how we can improve as an industry.
TZOA-RD02 sensors will be evaluated by SCAQMD and others through similar tests. We are confident because we've spent a long time with a lot of talented engineers & thought-leaders, creating not only a new product, but also a next generation sensor technology.
Delivery Update: big wins mixed with unexpected speed bumps.
- Plastics and circuit boards are ready for assembly.
- Firmware and software almost ready.
- CE certification for Europe and Asia is taking longer than expected. We had to source pre-certified CE lasers. Then we had to deeply understand what directives were applicable to our product before we included this mark that allows us to ship to places such as the EU. Soon we can sign a declaration of conformity and send RD02 to these areas.
- 200 non-CE-certified lasers we had ordered (after testing samples) showed up completely out of spec today, so we must get replacements ASAP or this will delay delivery.
- The batteries we had spec'd were on backorder with the closest alternative being 600mAh less than we're used to. Luckily the new cells should be ready before shipping.
We're doing our best to deliver everyone their devices in November; that we can promise. If we get replacement lasers soon, we can have units shipped to CE and non-CE countries from the 15-20th of November. We're excited to get RD02 in your hands.
More updates really soon on how everything we have done has been working towards the miniature consumer TZOA 'enviro-tracker'. Thank you.
-Kevin R. Hart, TZOA