Feb 11, 2016

Editor: An

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — Air pollution in Beijing and neighboring regions is not only fueling air purifier sales, but driving people to seek more information about air quality.

“Laser Egg”, a device about the size of an orange, measures indoor air quality and was sold out overnight during Beijing’ s red smog alert in December.

For its Swiss inventor Liam Bates, 27, the original decision to make such a device was only to solve a personal need. In 2014, when his new wife Jessica came to China, her asthma recurred. After affirming that the air pollution was the cause, Bates began his quest to find a solution. He tested more than 20 kinds of air purifiers he borrowed from friends, but could not decide which was most effective, so made up his mind to make one himself.

He started Origins Technology in early 2014 and released an air purifier later that year, which was only the first step toward the Laser Egg and unexpectedly cutting into a niche market that few before him had noticed.

“Many people told me that with the help of Laser Egg, they learned how bad their indoor air quality was and how they had spent several thousand yuan on an air purifier but failed to make full use of it by only turning it to the lowest level,” he said.

The egg links to a website and uploads air quality which can be checked by other users. Bates plans to collect data from thousands of online eggs to show people which bars, restaurants and shops have the best air quality and which should be avoided.

The popularity of Laser Egg comes from new-found air quality awareness, said Bates, citing a large number of air quality monitoring apps and the role of social media.

“If you have the urge to post a picture about air quality when you see a grey sky outside, people who follow you on Weibo or WeChat will pay more attention to the air around them,” said Bates. […]

[…]”We have a lot of plan, and our ultimate goal is to solve the problem outside,” he said.