CityOS Air

A real-time air monitoring network

By my people, for my people.

We are an energetic community of people willing to act, with a simple plan to get back our basic right to breathe clean air. We believe in two things: (1) what gets measured gets improved and (2) that together we can do more. We share knowledge, develop technology and together track the air we breathe. The result is a street-level real-time sensor network. It started in the city of Sarajevo, but we are already a multi-city and multi-country community. If you want to breathe clean air again, if you care about your children's health, the elderly, and your family and neighbors, then act now.

Meet Boxy, your air buddy

What gets measured gets improved.

On the surface Boxy is a beautiful little lamp. But Boxy has character and special abilities: it monitors air pollution, shows you air quality by changing its mood colors, talks to mobile apps and draws city-wide pollution maps. More stations means more details on the map.

What Boxy Monitors & Why

PM (particulate matter) is one of the deadliest forms of air pollution. The smaller the particles, the more dangerous PM becomes. That's why we designed Boxy to monitor particles as small as 1 micron. It is one of the only devices that measures PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 particles. Learn more about PM pollution here.

CityOS AIR App

Air quality by neighborhood

Info collected by Boxy is available within the CityOS Air app. You can monitor all sensors in real time for a complete picture of the air quality and the environment of your home or neighborhood you are currently visiting. With real-time syncing to the cloud, air quality data goes with you wherever you are.

Friendly Color-Coded System

The app provides you with comprehensive data and graph trends to give you a deeper understanding of your surroundings, air pollution patterns, and insights into the source of poor air quality as it happens.

Adopt a Boxy

Tech heroes willing to learn how to build and host a Boxy at their home can adopt a Boxy. This provides air quality data for your entire neighborhood. To qualify:

1. I have a protected balcony area
I have a balcony or covered outdoor area where Boxy will be protected from rain and strangers.
2. I have power on my balcony
I can provide power to Boxy at all times, as my neighborhood is relying on me for air quality data.

Build your own Boxy

Boxy is not a product for sale, it's an educational toolkit you build yourself. Just order the parts and follow our tutorials to assemble the device. Or join one of our local workshops where we teach you how to build it.

Order Parts
All parts are available online and will cost around $50 USD
Build Device
Anyone can build their own device using our easy tutorials
Install Code
Download and install the code onto your computer & device
Setup Apps
Set up the web and mobile apps to see your device's data

Join a Workshop

Join a free workshop and learn everything you need to build your own Boxy air pollution station. Workshops are free except for the cost of the parts. Bring your own parts and will we provide the rest.

Next workshop in:
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

FAQS

I care about this! How do I get involved?
You can help your neighbors and your city community in these three ways:
1. Become a patron hero of young people who are building and maintaining the sensor network by buying station parts (each location is covered with about $50).
2. Become a tech hero, learn how to build and program the air stations, host them and teach others (we will teach you how in our 6-hour workshop).
3. Become an ambassador, tell our story, spread good will and inspire others to act now.
Those special among us with the will and ability to do all three, we call our superhero force. :)
I am not a technical wizard, can I still build it?
Yes. Boxy was designed by the CityOS team with the goal of being so simple that everyone can learn how to build one in a day. You can do it yourself by following the online tutorials or by joining a workshop, where we will teach you all you need to know about pollution, electronics, programming and industrial design. You will build a Boxy to take home right there. We've had 10-year-old kids and non-techy adults build it with joy. As a matter a fact we still haven't met anyone that wasn't able to do it. In addition, the data collected by Boxy is open and software and hardware are all fully open-sourced too, so everyone can modify it, extend it, hack it and love it. You can, for example, build automated controllers for air purifiers, voice assistants and in-wall screens displaying data, mobile and web apps, and even 3D games. Or you could also use this knowledge to build other home-automation, smart city, robots, even precision agriculture devices, and many of our workshop students already did exactly that.
Why don't you just use a $50,000 unit that my company sells?
Most of those units installed today do not measure PM1 or PM2.5--the pollution we are mostly concerned about. They use 50+ year-old tape technology (new sensors are laser based), which makes them impractically large, expensive to maintain (they break all the time), and provides delayed data (imagine a fire alarm that provides an hourly or daily fire average). On top of that, they are overpriced for what they do. With modern technology we monitor 1000 locations for the price of one.

On the other hand, modern sensor readings are reliable enough to let you know when the air is clean and when it is unhealthy right now, the most important factor when monitoring air pollution. On top of that, smart AI algorithms process large quantities of collected data and make results much more reliable than old-fashioned systems. The best way to understand distributed sensor networks is to compare it to Google's inexpensive hardware that used software to achive reliability and scalibility. This made old expensive mainframe computers obsolete and gave birth to the era of cloud computing. Read more
What are the colors and threshold levels for PM values?
Currently there is no international standard and "official" PM threshold values are different depending on the country. We divide air pollution into six levels using an easy-to-understand color-coded system across all our apps, websites, 2D and 3D maps as well as Boxy itself. View reference chart here.
What should I do when the air is unhealthy?
Provided you have protected your home properly, the best thing to do is stay indoors, invest in a HEPA air purifier, and wear a mask outdoors. For a complete guide, click here.

Makers & Developers

To help spread clean air everywhere, we are giving away all of our code as open source software and hardware. We invite all developers to collaborate and build upon our project. Documentation about hardware, specs, APIs, app, and everything you need to get started is published below.