London-based start-up Brizi has designed a cushion, sensor and app to protect young children from air pollution.
The system, also called Brizi, includes a cushion embedded with a pollutant-filtering device that fits in a pram around a baby's head. An accompanying sensor uses an internal fan and laser beam to detect harmful air, and triggers the filter if levels become unsafe. It can identify toxic gases such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as dangerous physical particles in the air.
The sensor also collects crowdsourced pollution data, suggesting cleaner routes to take and allowing local communities to track air quality via the app.
Founder Yosi Romano started the company after walking with his daughter Alma through the busy streets of London. "Some of the most dangerous kinds of air pollution hang in the air exactly at the height where Alma sits in her stroller," he explains. "The lungs of young children lack the defences that adults have against gases and particulates that can cause asthma, allergies, respiratory diseases and reduce life expectancy."
The company has launched a campaign on crowdfunding site Kickstarter and plans to ship the product in August 2018.
As global pollution levels increase, people are growing concerned about air toxicity. In the past decade, internet searches for "best air purifier" and "air-quality index" rose by more than 750% (Nissan, 2016). For more on the devices offering discreet protection from pollution, see Increased Wellbeing: Personal Air Purifiers and Wearable Technology Show 2016.