You can find sensor applications in a wide range of environments (in our homes, workplaces, public places, healthcare etc.), implemented to take action and make our everyday lives easier, healthier and safer.
The human senses
In fact, you could say that our body is a remarkably well-designed sensory machine that depends on our five sensory organs – eye, ear, nose, tongue, and skin to collect information about our external environment. The information is then transmitted to the brain for processing and interpretation. The brain’s role is to then direct next courses of action. Therefore, the proper functioning of our inner sensors and the ability to accurately interpret the external environment is of vital importance for the safety and well-being of our body.
Understanding our inner sensors
Headache, a yawn, drowsiness and shortness of breath are all warning symptoms. However, it is not always clear to us how we interpret these symptoms, and we may not even understand what causes them.
Our inner sensors are sometimes misled by invisible and odorless gases present in our environment. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a gas that we exhale and is considered to be harmless, but in moderately high concentrations it is harmful and even deadly. Research shows that exposure to high levels of CO2 can harm our body and negatively affect our performance. It can even make airborne infections spread more effectively. By not being able to see, smell or feel the gas our inner sensors are deceived; they cannot make accurate interpretations and consequently we are unable to take necessary action. We need help to make sense of the potentially dangerous air around us.
When measuring and controlling air quality, sensors play the same crucial role as sensory organs in our body. They monitor and detect changes in air quality and communicate the valuable information fast. Some sensors play the role of vision, hearing, and touch, by sensing and interpreting light, temperature, pressure and sound waves into electrical signals. Some sensors play the role of taste and smell in detecting the presence and concentration of various gases.
By revealing light we cannot see, sounds we cannot hear and particles we cannot sense; sensors can help us be aware of the air we breath and alarm us when there is poor air quality and danger around us.
What is poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
The attention to indoor air quality has never been higher. IAQ is an important health and safety concern that is in focus, but do you know what causes poor air quality?
Increases in the number of building occupants and total time spent indoors can increase concentrations of some pollutants, such as the gas carbon dioxide (CO2). One might think that the urge for air is lack of oxygen, but it is, rather, excessive levels of CO2 that will affect you first. Research shows that exposure to high levels of CO2 can harm our body and negatively affect our performance. It even makes airborne infections spread more effectively.
Air quality can and should be measured!