After, studying several research papers/reports regarding the "Air We Breathe" in our homes and the possible health risks it can cause my father (Alan) and I (Andrew), decided there is a strong need to tackle indoor air pollution, especially in the home. Given that my background is Software Engineering and my father's Electronic Systems Engineering: it was logical that we worked together to define a low cost, small monitor that utilises the latest sensors; coupled with a leading edge processing platform, that would make the analysis of data collected, and then produces advice/recommendations on ways to improve the air breathed in your home environment.
Currently, there is a strong focus on outdoor air pollution, but the majority of people (especially in the UK) stay indoors a large percentage of their life. Indoor air can be 5 times more polluted than outside, due to factors like paint, furniture polishes, carpets, air fresheners, toys and much more. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is dangerously compromised by seemingly mundane everyday tasks such as cleaning, cooking and spraying aerosols. We want to expand on, and enhance everyone's knowledge so that health risks of their indoor environment can be reduced or eliminated. Not limited to the home, we would also love to, in the near future, see our sensors in Hospitals, Schools and Offices.
Why is it so important to "know the air we breathe"?
You might not think twice before lighting a candle or using a common floor cleaner around your home. We just assume these household goods are safe. However, people are often shocked to learn that many household products are emitting harmful gases that pollute your indoor air. Things such as furniture, paints, and surface coatings can be dangerous to your health due to pollutant chemicals.
These cancer causing chemicals are emitted at normal room temperature from thousands of common products and materials found in your home. Some can be detected via smell, while others are odourless. From reduced productivity to heightened risk for certain cancers, exposure to harmful VOCs can cause both short and long-term health effects.
We take 20,000 breaths every day, but what’s in the air we’re breathing? Just as damaging is the atmospheric particulate matter ( PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, which is about 3% the diameter of a human hair. Commonly written as PM2.5. The Morpheus Sensor can also detect particles down to 1 micrometres (PM1) and also their larger 10 micrometres counterparts PM10.
Particles in this category are so small that they can only be detected with an electron microscope. Since they are so small and light, fine particles tend to stay longer in the air than heavier particles. This increases the chances of humans and animals inhaling them into the bodies. Owing to their minute size, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres are able to bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs and some may even enter the circulatory system.
Studies have found a close link between exposure to fine particles and premature death from heart and lung disease. Fine particles are also known to trigger or worsen chronic disease such as asthma, heart attack, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Long-term exposure to PM2.5 may lead to plaque deposits in arteries, causing vascular inflammation and a hardening of the arteries which can eventually lead to heart attack/stroke, or cardiopulmonary and lung cancer mortality. CO2, Temperature, and Humidity also need to be monitored as these can influence air quality.
As we started to lay the foundations, we realised that we needed an additional Co-Founder(Dave), who has a proven track record of developing small electronic consumer products that were geared for cost effective volume production.
We want to use Kickstarter as an enabling platform to allow us to make the start to achieving our goal. We need to raise funds to pay for the initial manufacturing costs, for the enclosure, etc. All funds raised from this kickstarter will be re-invested back into Morpheus, so that we can continue to research and produce the next product range of Morpheus Indoor Sensors.
Morpheus Indoor Sensor is a cost effective, none-obtrusive stand alone sensor which monitors the PM 1.0, 2.5, 10, VOC and CO2, Temperature, and Humidity levels in your home. You simply place the sensor in the area that you desire to measure the air quality. This could be in the kitchen, living-room, bedroom, or anywhere you are concerned about the air quality. The sensor will then display the current readings on the screen, and there will be visual indicators/alerts whenever a particular reading becomes high/harmful and needs attention.
Its early days but we have a basic video of the enclosure and some renderings, we intend to enclose the device so that the sensors can read accurately and not get contaminated easily.
Risks and challenges
We are yet to determine the full shape and size of the enclosure of the sensor. We have a new co-founder onboard who has a proven track record, so we feel we should be able to overcome this obstacle.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Environmental commitmentsVisit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.
Depending on the success of the project, we aim in the future to release a version of the Morpheus Indoor sensor with Bluetooth and WIFI, backers of this project will be eligible for an upgrade at a significantly reduced cost.
Reusability and recyclabilityWe aim to use previously recycled packing materials, we want to keep a low carbon foot print but this will be dependant on cost and source.