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Find out how polluted your house is with an egg

Affordable air quality monitor available to pre-order

Image: courtesy of Jackie Park

If you've ever wanted to know how much the pollution from Beijing's streets affects the air quality in your home, or even your favourite bars and restaurants, the new palm-sized Laser Egg AQI reader could be eggsactly what you need.

Created by Beijing-based start-up Origins Technology, the small cone-shaped device is advertised to be the ‘world’s first low-cost, high accuracy air quality monitor’, which aims to provide the most precise readings possible, down to particles 0.3 microns in size. The cost? A very reasonable 379RMB.

‘[We] wanted to give everybody the ability to understand the air they are breathing and be able to make changes fast, based on reliable air quality monitoring,’ says Origins co-founder Liam Bates, who first purchased an AQI reader a few years back for a less wallet-friendly price of 5,000RMB.

At the media launch, held at the Swiss embassy, Bates showed how The Egg provides AQI readings from cities all over the world – it is even said to have the same readings as the American embassy’s AQI reader in Beijing.

Origins has also developed a free iPhone app, Breathing Space, which enables users to monitor the air quality around the eggs remotely. With the app you can track down all the clean (and dirty) air hang-outs around the city – provided they use a Laser Egg, of course.

The app also sets off alarms when the pollution gets bad and notifies you of pollution peak times.

According to Bates, indoor pollution is about 60 percent of what it is outside, so 'if it's 300 outside, it's 200 inside' – no, we're not yolking (sorry). And it's not only the smog cloud hanging over our heads that affects the quality of air inside. ‘I realised that my neighbours' cooking also affected my air quality,’ Bates says, adding that incense burning has also sent his readings through the roof.

If you want to find how much frying an egg affects the air quality in your kitchen, or, more importantly, keep an eye on pollution levels in your own home, you can pre-order the AQI reader on Origins' online shop.

To learn more about the project, take a look at Origins' website.

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