Intel Labs is showing off technology that could make smartphones a lot smarter by integrating technology that monitors ambient air quality.
As part of an annual Open House on Wednesday at the UC Berkeley campus, Intel Labs Berkeley is demonstrating the most tantalizing fruits of its research, including Common Sense, a technology that would allow consumers to collect and analyze environmental data and then share it over the Internet.
"It's about air quality," said Anthony Joseph, director of Intel Labs Berkeley. "We've developed a portable device a little bit larger than a cell phone (see photo) and it collects information about nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone."
Joseph said it also has a GPS sensor and GSM radio to send back geolocated data.
"As you go about your day, it can monitor the air quality around you," Joseph said. "You can collect all of that data, process it, and then share that data with users."
The technology offers more granular data compared with the "coarse-grained" readings provided by devices deployed the California Air Resources Board or the Environmental Protection Agency, Joseph said. "This gives you block by block (environmental) information," he said.
And Intel Labs is already seriously considering practical application. "We are looking at a number of different options," he said. "One would be to produce a large run of these. We've had a lot of requests to purchase these." Intel Labs already did an experimental deployment on street sweepers, according to Joseph.
And smartphones? "Another long-term idea is embedding these sensors in cell phones," he said. "The phone has communications, it has GPS, and you're just adding a few sensors… Read more