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Tech review: Air Things Wave Plus

€330 from Amazon.co.uk


Air Things Wave Plus

Air Things Wave Plus

Air Things Wave Plus

Now that we're all largely stuck at home anyway, we can pay attention to some of the housekeeping tech gadgets that make the house a little healthier.

One that I've been trying for a while is a gadget - Air Things' Wave Plus - that measures air quality.

The most important thing it senses, from a saving-your-life perspective, is probably radon. This, Air Things reminds us, is the number-one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

But it also gives measurements on other so-called volatile organic compounds, typically made up of chemically based odours from things like paint, furniture or cleaning products. These aren't lethal, but can contribute to headaches and other symptoms to those who might be sensitive.

This is the category I was most interested in.

I had a personal problem with an unknown airborne compound in the first apartment I moved into.

It was a new construction that wasn't properly ventilated. I kept getting low-level headaches, unattributable to anything else. I complained to the construction firm, but they politely rebuffed my queries.

It was 1999, I was relatively poor and couldn't afford to have the issue thoroughly investigated.

After two years, I sold the apartment. But I've been conscious of the issue ever since. (I'm lucky not to have had the same experience.)

The actual Wave Plus device is a circular, plastic covered gadget a little bigger than the palm of an average male hand.

You can place it on a shelf or mount it against a wall (it comes with a mounting screw). The controls and alerts are mostly handled through the downloadable app (search for 'AirThings' in either the App Store or Play Store). But it also has a nice little physical feature - when you wave in front of it, a circular light indicates whether the air quality is good, mediocre or dangerous (with green, orange and red).

Air Things does say that you'll need to wait about a week for the sensors to adjust to your particular environment before their readings can be definitively relied on.

It does also measure temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, although there's no on-gadget display of those indices so you have to look at your app to gauge these.

One handy feature that may appeal to those with a growing smart home ecosystem is that you can add the Wave Plus into your Alexa circle of control (as well as add it into IFTTT routine).

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