A charity has created a sensor kit that assesses the health of a house by measuring cold and mould levels.
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Whare Hauora, a New Zealand based charity has created a sensor designed to be fitted into homes to detect which rooms are cold and mouldy. By measuring the health of a house environment, the Whare sensors educate residents about the effects that cold or mould can have on their health. For example, a humidity level over 60 percent indicates mould is growing in a house. This can cause residents to experience allergic reaction such as coughing and sneezing.
The Whare sensor kits are modular as Whare Hauora want to teach users basic electronics assembly. They contain four sensors and also a gateway, each of which consists of four parts. Assembling each sensor and gateway takes around ten minutes each. The sensors measure temperature and humidity, taking readings every ten minutes. Next, the gateway pulls these readings and sends them to the Whare dashboard via the internet. Here, it calculates the ‘dew point index’. Dew point index is the temperature at which water vapour condenses into liquid water and collects on surfaces. After the sensors calculate the dew point index, it notifies users via phone notifications.
Formed by Amber Craig and Brenda Wallace in 2016, Whare Hauora aims to make sensors more widely available to residents in New Zealand. They came up with the idea after Wallace created her own sensors. She found out the cold temperature of her daughter’s room was causing her asthma symptoms to worsen. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” Wallace says. Furthermore, the sensor kits are crowdfunded and available to purchase with a ‘buy one, gift one’ model. At Springwise we have covered other social good innovations including a cookery kit that helps elderly people socialise and a browser extension that allows users to donate money directly to charity.