Custom Shield - Indoor Air Quality Monitor


Hi adrian,
I had a look to find out what could be detected indoors with a UV sensor. It looks like possibly refrigerant leaks from aircon or a fridge/freezer, or UV light from fluorescent lights. Is there anything else @adrian ?

Personally I have Philips A19 LED bulbs anywhere I sit most of the day because I dont like the flicker from fluorescent lights.


You are completely right @Rockvole, I forgot you target indoor air quality so UV would be irrelevant. We can think about it when we start working on outdoor (or outer space) accessories and shields for the Core.


Is this shield going to be sold on the sparkdevices site? It’s looking like the perfect sensor suite for an intelligent thermostat that I want to build.

I don’t think you need a lot of LEDs on this board, it’s an air quality sensor shield, keep it that way. Leave the user interface as a separate problem to be solved as you see fit, an LCD shield, a web app, etc…


How about a more affordable and hackable Nest


That’s my initial plan. With all these extra sensors though, it could become much more. Imagine being able to control a centrally located humidifier, external air intake or exhaust diverters and switch to extra or backup filters on the fly based on air quality settings.

Your kitchen could automatically clear the smoke when you burn dinner.

A two story home could heat the ground floor without cooking the upstairs, and still maintain airflow on both floors from a single unit.

Restroom vent fans can turn themselves on and off as needed.


Well now you are talking more money than just a simple thermostat, but it definitely sounds worth it :wink:


Hi @crysys ,
The intelligent control aspect of this shield is only something I have started to think of lately.

For energy efficient houses they require an energy recovery ventilator / heat recovery ventilator. These are typically replacing the air in the home 24/7 by sucking in air from the outside.
Without a way to detect the air quality you could be worse off than your neighbour in his 100 year old house.

If a truck/2-stroke motorbike drives past or someone uses a leaf blower or you are in the city during rush hour you could be breathing in those fumes indoors.

Using this shield you could detect those (with the particle counter) and turn off the house intake fans for 2 hours until the fumes have gone. Just having the sensor near the intake fans would be good enough to detect that quickly.

Without a sensor you can improve the situation somewhat with timers if you measure the air outside your house and turn the fans off during rush hour, but its definitely not as accurate when stat holidays / events in the city happen and traffic patterns change.


Will this be available to buy from spark devices? Or are you just releasing the designs to the public?


Hi @dermotos
I’m glad you are interested in this shield. You could try pinging Zach for an answer, or perhaps you could convince @BDub to build you one in his basement engineering lab :wink:


Consider @zach pinged :slight_smile:

We’ll definitely be selling these shields if there’s enough interest; we’ll probably manufacture a small quantity to start (maybe 100 each) and see how they do.

Also, I should probably share an update on timing for the custom shields. Currently the whole team is heads down making sure everything is ready for the Core launch in mid-October; once everything is ready with the Core, we’ll switch gears to the custom shields. I expect we’ll be able to spin them up very fast for the initial backers (5 each we can make by hand), and it’ll take a little longer to get production lined up to make them available for sale on our site.

Rough timeline: custom shields in the hands of their backers in November, designs shared with the public at about the same time. Available in our store… maybe January, if I were going to throw out a guess at this point.

Custom shields overview?

Thanks for the update @zach. I guess it will be a chicken and egg situation - there wont be much interest in the shield until there is some software for it and I cant write anything until I have a shield :smiley:

It will be a steep learning curve for me, but I will give it a try. Or

Do or do not… there is no try.


Thanks for the update @zach. That timeline approach makes the most sense. Cores first and foremost!


Here is another Air Quality Kickstarter: Air.Air!


A new smoke detector about to be launched by Nest :


Very nice @Rockvole I could see replacing all my smoke detectors with these… especially if the wired one truly is wired and doesn’t need batteries every year like the wired ones I have now. I had a talking CO smoke detector over 13 years ago though for about $40. It’s not as pleasant as this one though, nor as well connected and smart. $129 each is going to add up super fast though :frowning:


Hi @zach,
Any update on when you will be able to start on the Indoor Air Quality Monitor shield ?


Hey @Rockvole - glad you asked! We’ll be sending out emails to the custom shields backers next week to get started on development. Now that we’re shipping, we’re ready to start with the accessories :smile:


Thats great news. The team did a sterling job getting the cores shipped in good time :smiley:


Another smoke detector / air quality device with an indiegogo campaign. There is a table comparing its features to Nest.



Would it be possible to add myself to the list of initial purchasers for this shield? I’d love to get in on the first run.