Breathe Easy With This LED Air Sensor Necklace

When you’re building wearables and glowables, sometimes a flashy rainbow animation is all you need. [Geeky Faye] likes to go a little further, however, and built this impressive necklace that serves to inform on the local air quality. 

The necklace consists of a series of Neopixel LED strips, housed within a tidy 3D printed housing made with flexible filament. A dovetail joint makes putting on and removing the necklace a cinch. A TinyPico V2, based on the ESP32, runs the show, as it’s very small and thus perfect for the wearable application. A USB power bank provides power to the microcontroller and LEDs.

The TinyPico uses its WiFi connection to query a server fed with air quality data from a separate sensor unit. The necklace displays a calm breathing animation as standard in cool tones. However, when air quality deteriorates, it shows warmer and hotter colors in a more pointed and vibrant fashion.

It’s a neat project that shows off [Geeky Faye]’s abilities at both electronics and tasteful wearable fabrication. It’s not always easy to build projects that are both functional and comfortable to wear, but this one works on both counts. Both the 3D files for the necklace and the microcontroller firmware code is included in the GitHub repo for those keen to dive in to the nitty gritty.

We’ve seen some great necklaces over the years, including those that rely on some beautiful PCB art. Video after the break.

8 thoughts on “Breathe Easy With This LED Air Sensor Necklace

  1. I’ve been thinking about something like this for years. Small enough to wear, decent battery life, warns about low air quality.

    It’s the battery life that’s the problem. Air quality sensors use quite a lot of power. They need a fan to force air through, and use a light source and photo diode to detect small particles. Gas sensors usually need heaters too.

    If the tech ever reaches the place where it could reliably run for a couple of weeks and provide useful air quality information I think a lot of people would like to have that data.

    1. Well how often do you need it to poll and how accurate are really the question there – while some air sensors I know have a significant ramp up before producing useful results most could easily be fired up once every x – where x is defined such that you get the battery life you desire while still getting portable ‘real time’ updates.

      Personally I don’t think it needs more than maybe 12 hours of battery life, that is a very long time to be away from any infrastructure you can recharge at…

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