HOWTO: glowing balloons that show air quality


16 Responses to “HOWTO: glowing balloons that show air quality”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting story.

  2. jimkirk says:

    Now I have Nena singing 99 Luftballons in my head.


  3. GlenBlank says:


    An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.

    –Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

  4. FutureNerd says:

    Even non-techies should be skeptical about an “air quality” meter.

    Technically, you get to pick one of two sensors, and each reacts to a specific group of chemicals, not necessarily more strongly to worse chemicals, and, once you do your best to follow the instructables, not accurately.

    So it’s a cute demo that hints at the kinds of things that could be done when things improve by another factor of a hundred.

  5. gwailo_joe says:

    Until they can ~float~ against the wind a-la everyones favorite clown Pennywise. . .I’m out.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think I’d love to encounter any kind of glowing baloons as I walk through the city at night :)

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think I’d love how variable the air quality is around those park benches!

  8. Stefan Jones says:

    I’m guessing that that is Schenley Park.

    #2: I’m guessing someone cut a really ripe fart while sitting on the left bench.

  9. Fee says:

    Based on the prices in their instructable, you’re looking at roughly $240-worth of colour changing balloons. I don’t think $40 a shot is inexpensive!

    While they are lovely and may even have a practical use, I don’t think they are an economically sound proposition for most people, however cool.

  10. Dig Duggler says:

    Next, color-changing condoms that sense STD.

  11. Anonymous says:

    neat–when i see a balloon that says the air quality in my neighborhood is bad, i can just move!

  12. holtt says:

    Combine that with the mushroom lights and make air sensing mushrooms

  13. Drew from Zhrodague says:

    If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, dorkbot pittsburgh will be starting up again soon, where you can meet some of these people, and other interesting folks. There’s also the hack pittsburgh crew, they’ve been doing a bunch of arduino things.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of the technique of “continuous feedback” to improve quality in software: setting up a display that at all times tells you whether your software process is on track or not.

    Would the feedback from a bunch of air quality balloons distributed throughout a city make people more aware of and interested in reducing air pollution, or would it just become part of the background noise of the urban environment?

    The “Spare the Air Days” campaign in the SF Bay Area gives similar feedback, but in a far less visual and obvious way.

  15. PARLIAMENT says:

    It’s air pollution musical chairs! Turn your relaxing walk through the park into a blood-pressure-raising scramble to save yourself from carcinogens!

Leave a Reply