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Imec the Netherlands is going to measure the air quality in Eindhoven city centre during the Dutch Design Week 2018 (October 20 – 28, 2018). The IoT team of imec in Eindhoven is specialized in research and development of sensor technology for environmental monitoring. Imec’s researchers invented an affordable and easy solution to monitor air pollution on street level. Imec already implemented large flexible air pollution sensor networks in Antwerp, as part of the City of Things project. For the first time, a small network of air quality sensors is monitoring the air real-time in the main shopping street in Eindhoven.

How is the air quality affected during the DDW?

In this project, the researchers from imec are interested in how an event with more than 300.000 visitors in just a week of time creates changes in the data of the city centre’s air quality. A few weeks ago, the imec IoT team installed three air pollution sensors at the Warehouse of Innovation. Visitors of the DDW and curious citizens can check the real-time air quality on a live dashboard on a screen at the entrance of the old V&D building. The historical data of the previous weeks and the Dutch Design week will be compared. The researchers also hope to stir up discussions about air pollution and a sustainable future.

Today, monitoring air quality on street-level is difficult or very expensive. To collect accurate data requires the installation of large expensive stations which municipalities cannot always afford. The imec team in Eindhoven created a solution for cities to monitor the air in an affordable and easy way. This is done by collecting cheap sensors and combining them together in large sensor networks. Once you have a network of sensors, the next step is to create the right algorithms which automatically calibrate the sensors and process their signals. “If you don’t do this, the sensors soon drift and show the wrong data”, imec’s Eline van Uden says.

“The possibilities of this solution are endless. You can create large-scale, affordable. real-time, and fine-grained networks of air quality monitoring systems throughout the city. It is also possible to communicate this data to the citizens and come up with data-supported solutions to improve the quality of the air in the city. It is the ambition of imec the Netherlands to implement such low-cost air pollution services with public, private and environmental organizations.”

Talks and more

During the event, the Warehouse of Innovation – a large four-story building what used to be a large V&D warehouse in the main shopping street – is the place of different exhibitions and events such as the Embassy of Mobility. On October 24th, between 17:00 and 18:00, John Baekelmans (Managing Director of imec the Netherlands) will give a 20-minute talk about smart cities and mobility. He has a long track record in designing and implementing smart city technology all over the world. The event is for free and open to the public. Innovation Origins publishes an overview of tomorrow’s lectures every day.

The Dutch Design Week takes place from October 20-28 in Eindhoven. The Warehouse of Innovation is located in Eindhoven City Centre, Vrijstraat 11. For more information about the event: or the Embassy of Mobility.