South Korean operator SK Telecom has introduced a compact air-quality monitoring device that connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth, the second move by a major mobile player this week into the ‘smart home’ space.
The Air Cube comes in two models: Air Cube C (KRW149,000 / $134) measures the level of fine dust particles and carbon dioxide, while the Air Cube T (KRW95,000 / $86) monitors fine dust levels and the ‘discomfort’ index (by measuring temperature and humidity). The operator talked up the product’s portability (“Air Cube is small and light-weight, measuring 52mm x 52mm x 52mm and 80 grams”).
The device measures air quality every 15 seconds and displays the results at five levels. When air pollution or contamination reaches or exceeds level four, an alarm goes off.
The Air Cube app, which is available for free at Google Play, Apple App Store and SK Planet T Store, allows users to remotely check air quality and to receive real-time push alerts when the air quality reaches specific contamination thresholds.
The announcement comes just days after Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi launched an air purifier in China.
Through a remote control app on a smartphone, users can receive pollution readings from the appliance and control its fan speed. They will also get notifications such as when a replacement filter is needed or the internal fan needs to be changed. The Mi Air Purifier is priced at $150.
The device is not Xiaomi’s first move to diversify its product line. Earlier this year it beta-tested four smart home gadgets – a webcam, light bulb, power plug and remote control centre. It has also launched a blood pressure monitor and a WiFi router.