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What is it?

A community-led air quality sensing network that gives people a way to participate in the conversation about air quality.

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The Air Quality Egg is a sensor system designed to allow anyone to collect very high resolution readings of NO2 and CO concentrations outside of their home. These two gases are the most indicative elements related to urban air pollution that are sense-able by inexpensive, DIY sensors.

Where's the data?

Look outside your window — have you ever wondered what the quality of the air is out there? I mean RIGHT. OUT. THERE. 12 inches from your face. If so, you are out of luck. The air quality data collected by the government is likely sampled from far, far away and then applied to you on a regional level -- not very useful from the standpoint of trying to understand or change the local dynamics of pollution that affect you. If you're interested in joining a community of people who are going to change that, you are in the right place!


The Air Quality Egg is developed by a community effort, born out of groups from the Internet of Things Meetups in NYC and Amsterdam and New York City. We are designers, technologists, developers, architects, students, and artists. Read about the history of the development of this project here and here.

The product development conversation, as well as a fair bit of the philosophical arguments, happens in our Google Group. We also have a Wiki.

The video also outlines our methodology/philosophy.

How It Works

Diagram of how the egg works

1) Indoor or outdoor sensors: A small electronic sensing system plugs into a USB 'wall wart', and sends the data over Wi-Fi.

2) Data sent to the internet:The data is sent to the cloud at Opensensors.io, an open data service, which both stores and provides free access to the data.

3) Visualization:From there, it is sent to the this website, and to Xively, where you can see graphs and other visualizations of the data. The service includes embeddable graphs and the ability to generate triggers for tweets and SMS alerts (it looks something like this), as well as a robust API which allows for developers in the community to unlock the potential of this new dataset by building mashups, maps, and applications.

Configure Your Egg

* You must install a browser plugin to use the embedded Serial Monitor. Get it here! Some Mac users have reported experiencing difficulties connecting their Egg to the internet using Firefox. If you are a Mac user, we ask that you please try using Chrome rather than Firefox. If you continue to have difficulties connecting, we recommend Arduino's Serial Monitor