Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

uHoo: Every Breath You Take -- Collecting Data On Your Personal Pollution

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 10, 2016

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Our transition from a rural to an urban lifestyle means we spend far more time inside homes and offices and on the roads connecting them. And that means exposure to a huge number of gases leaking from the walls, carpets, industrial facilities and cars. It would be good to know the locations where the concentration of these gases are harmful to peoples' health.

Singapore based uHoo today announced a digital device that can detect a large number of harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, ozone, and volatile organic solvents in the air along with sensor data on air pressure, humidity, dust and temperature. 

The device is 3.3 inches by 6.2 inches and connects with local wi-fi. Software allows users to monitor air quality in several locations at once via their smartphone. 

Silent killer...

Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng, CEO and co-founder of uHoo, said:"The less known silent killer among us is indoor air quality, which can be up to five times worse than outdoor air. Couple that with unhealthy indoor air being linked to cancer and heart disease, 6 in 10 homes being hazardous to their owner's health and half of America's schools having issues related to indoor air quality, a product that detects the particles and chemicals we breathe in real-time can transform people's health."

The company cites research by the University of California at Berkeley that estimates that healthy indoor air quality translates into higher productivity and health care savings of as much as $669 per person a year.

The uHoo device is available as a pre-order for $89. http://www.uhooair.com/

Background Info from uHoo:

 

The idea for uHoo started as a conceptual idea to solve a serious problem between co-founder Dustin Jefferson S. Onghanseng whose background is in management consulting for the healthcare industry and his colleague Jean-Pierre Wack whose background is in green building design. Dustin who has suffered from hay fever since childhood, realized that air quality made a difference between "getting by" and feeling healthy. Suffering from bad air quality in Hong Kong led him down a path of research and discovery.

Dustin teamed up with electrical engineer Brian Lin, an asthma sufferer, and industrial and mechanical engineer Yoshimasa Suzuki, and after recruiting more engineers, the team pitched uHoo in a number of competitions from Bangkok and Shanghaim to Hong Kong and Portland Oregon, clinching the competition in China, which led to several milestones, including TechInAsia voting uHoo as one of Asia's top ten young startups to watch.

For nearly two years, they built a product, incorporating the most important features and benefits from their focus group feedback. Today, uHoo is the most advanced indoor air quality detector on the market, with eight dedicated sensors.

The company is headquartered in Singapore, with R&D in Hong Kong and production in Taiwan. Their marketing and design teams are in California.

uHoo has raised a seed round from East Ventures out of Asia, funding from an IndieGoGo campaign in Q2 2016 for marketing and plans to do a series A round later this year.

 

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