Foobot Air Quality Monitor Engages Kids To Keep Air Fresh

Posted: Mar 13 2018, 5:16am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 13 2018, 5:23am CDT, in News | Technology News

 
Foobot Air Quality Monitor Engages Kids

Thi is a Foobot Air Quality Monitor review.

Since the past weeks, I have a new bot in my apartment. The Foobot is an air quality monitoring device designed for homes. According to the company, the air in your home could be 5x more polluted than outdoors. Sensors of Foobot measure the concentration of VOCs (Volatile organic compounds), CO2 levels and PM2.5 particles.

It of course also measures the temperature and the humidity in your home. The device is not detecting all VOCs like formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, but gives a global picture of VOCs levels,

The air quality details and ratings are shown on a companion app. There are also tips on how to resolve issues, but in most cases, you need to refresh the air. Foobot is also showing the air quality level directly on the device through LED light effects. If Foobot shines in blue, everything is in order. If Foobot lights up in orange, its time to open the window or switch on your HVAC to let fresh air in.

The designers of Foobot tried to make the device very likable, starting with the packaging. There is a heart with the message "Foobot likes you already" and on the bottom of the box it says "Don't look at my bottom!" The personification works well enough that my kids (7 and 9) engaged with Foobot right away.

Because it's shaped like an Amazon Echo, they tried to talk to it. Foobot can't be voice controlled out of the box, but it can be connected to Alexa devices via an Alexa skill. So my kids could, in the end, ask Foobot about the air quality. What's more is that my kids are now aware of the air quality in the room. They now, by themselves, open the window when Foobot is "not happy" and shines orange.

The educational aspect of Foobot is great. I talked with my kids about what is in the air and what can potentially be a problem, like too much CO2.

Foobot definitely doesn't like it when I cook. The kitchen steam and smells from the kitchen is polluting the air in the apartment very quickly. The air quality gadget makes me now ventilate the apartment almost every time I cooked a meal.

Setting up Foobot is a pleasant and haptic experience. You have to turn Foobot up-side-down to activate the Wi-fi setup. Foobot requires to connect to your wireless network to communicate with the companion app and be found by other IoT devices. When you change the Wi-fi credentials, make sure you activate the configuration mode again by turning Foobot upside down.

I don't have the equipment to verify the accuracy of the measurements that Foobot provides, but the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory does. In a recent study about the reliability of PM2.5 readings in air quality monitoring devices, Foobot won. What I can say is that if Foobot lights up orange, the air is bad. Usually, I don't think about the air quality as I'm too distracted by what I do. Foobot visually reminds me to be conscious of the air I breathe and improve it if necessary.

I now definitely ventilate my apartment more regularly. I actually can't stand it when Foobot shows orange. I have to get up and open the window. You can connect the Foobot to a Nest thermostat controlling your HVAC to automate the ventilation in your home. I have not tested this, but its a major selling point of the Foobot.

There was one issue during the whole test period where Foobot always gave me a bad CO2 reading, despite letting fresh air in. After unplugging it from power and have it start up again, the CO2 reading was working correctly again.

The Foobot retails for $199 on Amazon.com. This is a considerable investment, but you and your family will breath better air in your home.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.

 

 

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