Airthings Wave uses TI technology to detect radon gas and more

Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and  Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), Radon exposure claims the lives of approximately 21,000 Americans each year, which is more than six times the number of deaths attributed annually to house fires and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning combined. Radon levels fluctuate daily making short and long-term monitoring of radon levels necessary. At Airthings, their mission is to ensure that people around the world take control of their air quality through simple, affordable and accurate technology solutions – making smart radon and air quality detectors as common as smoke detectors.

1. What is Airthings Wave?

Airthings Wave is a smart radon detector that provides consumers with critical, potentially life-saving information on indoor air quality, accessible via their smartphone or tablet. Airthings’ Wave gives homeowners instant visibility into their indoor radon levels. Radon is a dangerous gas which is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

Airthings Wave fundamentally changes the way radon is measured by using digital sensors and smart home technology.  This allows for the unique combination of real-time radon levels, and long-term measurement which is crucial for health and wellness.

Airthings Wave also includes temperature and humidity sensors which provide the ultimate accuracy in radon readings by taking into account environmental factors. This allows for early detection and notifications of potential mold concerns. In addition, customized tips will be given to help improve the overall air quality. This real-time data is an imperative and significant differentiator, as radon levels are dynamic and require continuous monitoring to determine potential impact or need for mitigation.

2. What makes Wave stand out from its competitors?

Our solution takes into account radon, temperature and humidity to be able to provide overall air quality measurements as well as individual sensor levels over time. Each sensor will provide you with short-term and long-term readings as well as notifications when radon levels become dangerous. Receiving radon levels instantly through easy-to-read color coding on your phone or the device is a game changer for homeowners and families.

3. There are many wireless connectivity technologies on the market. Why did you choose to integrate Bluetooth® low energy into Wave?   

Bluetooth low energy technology was the natural choice for this product.  Today, all smartphones and tablets are Bluetooth enabled. Airthings uses the latest Bluetooth technology that allows for seamless and automatic updates of sensor data. As long as you have the app installed and are regularly within 50 feet of your device, Airthings will notify you if actions are needed.

The TI SimpleLink™ Bluetooth low energy CC2640 wireless microcontroller (MCU) is extremely low power, and enables us to have fast communication intervals while maintaining very long battery lifetime (two years on two AA battery cells).  Radon exposure is dangerous over long periods of time, so it’s not needed to have the device always connected with Wi-Fi®. 

4. Why did you choose TI’s CC2640 wireless MCU, MSP430™ microcontroller and TAS2505 CODEC for your product?

TI’s CC2640 wireless MCU enables us to use the latest Bluetooth technology and features.  It’s the lowest-power Bluetooth device, and provides the longest range.  These are critical features for the Airthings Wave.

The MSP430 MCU is the lowest power MCU we could find for this product with extensive analog integration.  The analog-to-digital converter (ADC) inside the MSP430 MCU is a core feature of our radon sensing technology.

The TAS2505 is a low-power analog and digital input speaker amplifier that supports 24-bit digital I2S data for mono playback.  It was easy to use with the MSP430 MCU, and it provides great performance for the cost.

 For all the TI products in Airthings Wave, TI provided us with excellent support, which made it possible for us to develop the product in record time. 

 5. Where do you see your technology/solution going in the next five years?

We have a range of products in the pipeline, all with extensive analog content, sensors, microcontrollers, and various communication devices.  For Airthings, ultra-low power and analog integration is crucial, while increasing the MCU performance.  We see an exciting future creating high-value radon and air quality monitors for consumers and professionals.

Attending CES 2017? Stop by the TI booth at the Venetian, Lvl 2 - Titian 2202 to see Airthings Wave in action.

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