Wearable Devices for Environmental Monitoring and Health
To celebrate World Environment Day, this post highlights environmental monitoring devices, which help to raise awareness about external factors that affect our health.
The majority of wearable devices are aimed at recording information from the wearer. Designers of environmental monitoring devices aim to arm wearers with important information about their environment. Pollution, UV exposure and transit are three excellent examples of how this technology can be applied to daily life.
In the case of pollution, for example, the device could let the wearer know when he or she is walking through an area with a high concentration of particulate matter and suggest a different route. The device could also indicate the wearers’ pollution exposure and various potentially related health effects. This could provide not only individual health benefits but also awareness of the link between pollution and health, helping wearers better understand the dangers of air pollution and adjust their lives accordingly. WindSix, a wearable headset air purifier, is taking the concept even further. It removes up to 99.9% of the main pollutant from the air the user is inhaling.
SunFriend is very simple wearable device that measures UV rays. Depending on your skin type it alerts its user with flashing if he or she has spent too much time in the sun. Because it is waterproof it is also well suitable to children who are playing outside or at the beach.
A wristband called Relay could potentially integrate data from the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and display it in real time. So, for example, if you were trying to decide whether to take a cab or the subway, Relay would tell you as you’re approaching the subway station, which trains are arriving when. Such technologies could feasibly increase ridership on public transit in smart cities because they make citizens’ commutes more convenient and enjoyable.
Preserving the environment is crucial for staying healthy. We believe wearables can shift people’s perception and help raise the awareness when people themselves monitor the environment and see the changes every single day.