Patrick Chwalek

The quality of the air we inhale affects our physical well-being, our mental performance, and our emotional state. Yet, most of us are unaware of what we are breathing in, and how it impacts us.

Our collective experience with COVID-19 has stressed the importance of maintaining healthy and comfortable environments where we live, work, and socialize. We now live in a time when parents equip their children with air quality sensors to assess the wellbeing of the spaces they occupy and to intervene when extraordinary conditions are sensed. It’s common knowledge that extreme levels of particulates and foreign gasses in the air are hazardous to our health. However, far less is understood about how milder levels of these constituents affect our long-term health, cognitive functions, and comfort.

That is why we created AirSpecs, an eyewear platform that incorporates environmental sensing into an innovative eyewear platform for characterizing spaces across contexts. AirSpecs is designed to estimate the composition of inhaled gases for a more accurate understanding of inhaled pollutants and a more thorough assessment of how well-ventilated the area around the wearer is. AirSpecs is also designed with several other sensor modalities to characterize the spaces individuals spend time in to offer greater insight into what environmental characteristics users prefer and what changes they notice. The platform also has several features that allow researchers to extend the native sensing capabilities to allow their research to extend past controlled lab environments.