Technology

Meet Claudio Parrinello, CEO and Founder of the Air Quality Monitoring Network: PlanetWatch

PlanetWatch is building a community-driven global air quality monitoring network. Unlike other air quality monitoring systems that rely on data interpolation, our high-density network provides near real-time hyper-local information for targeted action to improve air quality and mitigate local pollutant hotspots.

Our sensors are nimble and easy to install, meaning individuals, communities and organizations can all play a role in collecting air quality data without relying on centralized funding or institutions. It’s a great example of Citizen Science in action.

The data collected by our users operated sensors is stored anonymously on the Algorand blockchain – a powerful and “green” decentralized ledger. Users earn rewards in exchange for data streams from their sensors. These rewards, PLANETS tokens, can be used to purchase more products, which will soon include items like air purifiers, or after our partnership with Treedom, to plant trees in sustainable forests. Air pollution is a problem that affects us all, and our solution can empower everyone to improve global health and well-being.

planet watch | Air quality affects your health. Pay attention to the air you breathe

How did you come up with the idea for PlanetWatch?

I worked for several years at CERN, the world’s leading physics research organization and the place where the web was born. While working there, I realized that blockchain technologies can add value and transparency to citizen science projects. Eventually realizing that some environmental monitoring challenges could be addressed through a citizen science approach, the idea for PlanetWatch was born. The first use case for PlanetWatch is air quality monitoring.

Air pollution is a major threat to human health and our climate. It is estimated that outdoor air pollution kills 4.2 million people each year, and 99% of the world’s population breathes air that exceeds WHO guidelines for pollutants.

Unfortunately, traditional air surveillance solutions do not provide sufficient coverage and data density to accurately identify pollution hotspots, both outdoors and indoors. This is where PlanetWatch comes in. By incentivizing individuals to deploy and operate air surveillance sensors, we can rapidly and cost-effectively build high-density sensor networks worldwide. Data from such networks is crucial to determine actionable actions to improve air quality for all.

How has PlanetWatch performed during the pandemic?

PlanetWatch is now two years old, so in many ways a project that has evolved alongside the Covid-19 pandemic. One aspect that the pandemic has certainly highlighted is the need for improved indoor air quality in our workspaces, schools and homes.

Our network includes thousands of indoor sensors around the world. The data collected from our users can lead to efficient and practical indoor air quality solutions that not only combat the airborne transmission of viruses, but also improve physical and mental health in general.

What can we expect from PlanetWatch in the future?

Our main focus is to grow our network by encouraging as many people as possible to get their own sensors. Currently, our network includes nearly 60,000 sensors – mainly in Europe and the US – and we are aiming to provide extensive coverage in at least 20 major cities around the world by 2022. In late 2021, we received support from Borderless Capital’s $10M PLANETS. Fund that will play a key role in expanding PlanetWatch’s network.

We are increasingly working with local authorities and organizations who recognize the need to take action on air pollution in their cities. We recently announced a collaboration with the Mayor of Miami to roll out sensors across the city. Further partnerships like this will help expand our global reach while making a real difference for local people and for the environment at large.

Ultimately, we want to be the largest and most reliable global air quality monitoring network, and the last two years have been an excellent start in that regard.

https://techround.co.uk/interviews/meet-claudio-parrinello-planetwatch/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=meet-claudio-parrinello-planetwatch Meet Claudio Parrinello, CEO and Founder of the Air Quality Monitoring Network: PlanetWatch

Fry Electronics Team

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