What Is Sensio Air?
Based on years of research and development, Sensio Air is a sleek, patented smart device that uses state-of-the-art remote detection technology to help users identify airborne particles, provide feedback based on the results, and offer suggestions that could move them one step closer to a cleaner, healthier living environment.
In addition to particles and pollutants like allergens, pollen, dust mites, and pet dander, the device also promises to locate and track harmful gases wherever it’s placed, as well as temperature, humidity, and light intensity.
And when paired with its smartphone app, it can also track major airborne allergens and pollutants across more than 100 worldwide cities, log your symptoms, obtain a personalized report that can help you identify triggers, and even receive advice from asthma and allergy specialists.
Together, they claim Sensio’s system could help you breathe easier by predicting and preventing your asthma and allergy symptoms.
This all sounds great, but once you have the system in your home, will you find that it actually helps keep your symptoms under control? Even then, will it deliver sufficient value for your money? Let’s launch our investigation by dialing in the basics.
What Is Asthma?
The National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus explains that asthma is a chronic disease where “the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen” after being exposed to:
- Allergens – “Household dust mites, cockroaches, dander from furred or feathered animals, fungi, and pollens.”
- Environmental triggers – “Tobacco smoke, industrial emissions, vehicle exhaust, ozone, sulfur dioxide, some foods, food additives, and smog."
- Physical triggers – “Respiratory infections, exercise, hyperventilation, stress, depression, and fear."
Depending on your asthma’s classification (mild intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent, and severe persistent), the Mayo Clinic advises that to help prevent this inflammation from occurring—or to reduce its length once it does occur, your doctor might prescribe a variety of long-term and quick-relief medications, or even recommend surgery in a worst-case scenario.
Other recommendations are to work with your doctor to identify and avoid your triggers, follow your asthma action plan, get vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia, monitor your breathing, and take your medication as prescribed.
Where do devices like the Sensio Air fit into all of this?
Taking a Closer Look at How the Sensio Air Device & App Work
By combining a tabletop device (6.6" x 3.9") with a smartphone or tablet app (iOS 7 or later, or Android 4 or later), the Sensio Air system claims to help you identify and avoid your asthma triggers.
On the outside, you’ll find 18 RGB color LEDs that provide ambient light feedback. On the inside, the device is powered by a lithium-ion battery that delivers up to seven days of runtime, along with five different sensors:
- Temperature: 0 - 50 C
- Humidity: RH, 20 to 90%
- Gas: PPM 0 - 28.000 Pcs / L
- Particle diameter > 1μ
- Light quality
Together, the website tells us they allow you to monitor ambient air quality by detecting a variety of potentially harmful gases (carbon monoxide, alcohol, acetone, thinner, formaldehyde), particulate matter (dust mites, pollen, mold spores, smoke, etc.), along with “physical parameters that affect air quality such as temperature, relative humidity and daylight exposure.”
Looking more like a space pod than an indoor air quality sensor (IAQ), Sensio Air monitors important parameters that could help you control asthma symptoms. Credit: Sensio Air
All of this information is sent via Wi-Fi to your smartphone or tablet, where Sensio’s app provides you with the ability to remotely monitor what’s going on inside your home or office, log your symptoms with the tap of a button, and check the daily air quality and pollen count for up to 100 cities around the world.
Then, Sensio will use algorithms to help you “improve your health with expert, real-time advice.”
Finally, app users will be able to receive alerts when the air quality in their area declines, and even receive alerts in case of fire.
Sensio Air’s app visualizes data tracked by the device (left), provides the ability to track symptoms (middle), and receive personalized recommendations (right). Credit: Apple Corporation
With all of this said, there seemed to be some important information missing from the Sensio website regarding Air at the time of our research. As such, we reached out to the company with the following questions, and received a quick response from the CEO:
- Can multiple Sensio Air devices connect to one another, such as in different rooms, for whole-home coverage? Yes.
- Can more than one device connect to a single app? If so, how many? For end consumer, up to 10 devices can be connected. If additional connections are required, a “pro" plan is offered.
- Which home automation platforms and devices is Sensio Air compatible with? Compatibility with Amazon Echo, Nest, and Apple HomeKit is currently under development.
- How many square feet can a single device monitor? What is the ideal placement in the home? Once Sensio Air can monitor up to 9-0-0 square feet of open space, and is best placed at human height (such as on a table) wherever users spend most of their time, or where they typically experience most of their symptoms.
- What upkeep, if any, is required on the user’s part? No upkeep is required. Simply make sure that the internet connection and power are always on.
How Much Does Sensio Air Cost?
The company’s CEO let us know that Sensio Air is scheduled to release in May 2018, and will be priced at USD $999. No refund details were provided, although we were informed all purchases come with a one-year warranty.
What Do We Know About the Company Behind Sensio Air?
Although the company tells us they plan to release Sensio Air sometime during 2018, we found an Entrepreneur article from as far back as March 2016 talking about the product (nearly two years ago).
We didn’t encounter any crowdfunding campaigns (Indiegogo, Kickstarter, etc.) during our research, so we’re curious what’s taking so long for the system to make its way to market—especially as more and more competition enters the market (more next).
With this said, as a company, Sensio Air was founded in 2008 by husband and wife partners Cyrille Najjar and Dr. Eve Tamraz Najjar, as both have suffered from asthma their entire lives. In the press release cited earlier, Cyrille explained:
“Air quality is a challenge to understand - even for some of the world's most prominent regulatory committees, like WHO or EPA. We took it upon ourselves to link asthma and pollution in order to highlight the impact air quality can have on asthma and allergy sufferers – and we’ve done so by focusing on the preventative and predictive aspects.”
They’ve received a bevy of award for the system, including an MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 1st price, as well as an Innovation Award Honoree at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.
Are There Other Indoor Air Quality Monitors Like Sensio?
While one of the company’s sites claimed that “AIR is the first allergen and particle tracker for the home,” this doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. In fact, there are several smart, multi-sensor, app-connected indoor air quality devices currently competing for many of the same customers, including:
|Sensio Air||Unknown||Carbon monoxide, alcohol, acetone, thinner, formaldehyde, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, smoke, etc., temperature, relative humidity, daylight exposure. Tracking and personal recommendations.|
|uHoo Air Sensor||$299||Temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, VOC, PM2.5, air pressure, carbon monoxide, ozone. Receive alerts/notifications, share data, record respiratory conditions.|
|Awair||$179||Temperature, humidity, CO2, chemicals, dust. Provides an Awair Score. Tracking and personal recommendations. Works with Nest and Alexa.|
|Foobot||$199||VOC, PM2.5, humidity, temperature. Air Quality Score, tag events, personalized tips.|
|Netatmo Weather Station||$149||Temperature, humidity, CO2, air quality, ventilation warning, sound meter. Track data. Connects to weatherproof rain and wind gauges, as well as Alexa|
How can you choose which of these options will deliver the most value for the money, whether Sensio or another brand? Like nearly any other electronics purchase, it’s largely going to come down to the features you need and your available budget.
For example, according to Electronic House, it’s important for any indoor air quality (IAQ) monitor you’re considering to detect primary pollutants like PM2.5, PM10, VOCs, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide. And as we can see from the table above, most of the competition seems to deliver.
However, if you also want your IAQ to integrate with other home automation devices that can potentially help address air quality, such as a smart thermostat, Awair and Foobot seem to be the only options currently available. But, at $179 and $199, respectively, they’re also among the most expensive.
At the other end of the spectrum, while Netatmo’s Weather Station is the lowest-priced option in the table and can connect to rain and wind gauges, its weather-centric design also means that it comes with the fewest number of sensor features.
We’ve covered a lot of territory in this article, so let’s go ahead and bring everything together so we can come to a conclusion about Sensio Air.
Our Final Thoughts About Sensio Air
While the right indoor air quality sensor is largely dependent on your specific needs and the amount of money you’re willing to spend, it’s important to emphasize that these sensors are just that. In other words, while they might be able to provide meaningful insight and recommendations, they won’t actually do anything to improve your home or office’s IAQ.
On the other hand, devices like Wynd and Airmega Smart (to name just a couple at random) combine IAQ sensors with purification technology that can adjust accordingly to your surroundings. However, models like these tend to only measure a few different parameters, so—again—you’ll have to decide if your purification needs outweigh your data preferences.
With this said, at $999, Sensio Air is certainly considered an investment, and is priced meaningfully higher than all of its popular competitors. But if you suffer from indoor air quality concerns, the data it provides could be invaluable to your quality of life.