Breeze Technologies launch air quality project with Microsoft
The Hamburg-based Breeze Technologies launched one of the world’s densest air quality monitoring networks Wednesday (April 22, 2020) to coincide with Earth Day. Breeze Technologies develops low-cost air quality sensors and cloud software to visualize and analyze environmental data in real-time. This latest project, which is backed by Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Earth programme, analyses the link between traffic flow, congestion and urban air quality levels.
Breeze to make air quality tangible
Breeze has set up 35 sensors to stream continuous, real-time air quality data from a 14.2 km2 area to a central cloud platform. The network’s density means it can detect differences in air quality levels between individual streets unlike the City of Hamburg’s air monitoring system consisting of 15 measurement stations for a total area of 755.22 km2. Many of those stations measure only one or two air quality parameters. Commenting on the start-up’s objective, the founder Robert Heinecke, said: “We want to enable smaller cities with limited budget and experience to start collecting their own air quality data. Until now, this was just not feasible because of the associated cost of measurement infrastructure and because of the scientific complexity. Larger cities can use our solution to implement much denser air quality monitoring networks than before.”
Cloud-based data evaluation
The data generated by Breeze is collected and saved on the Azure cloud platform provided by Microsoft. Heinecke and his joint founder Sascha Kuntze, rely on AI for precise measurements and which rules out factors that could refute the results. Astrid Aupperle, Head of Philanthropies at Microsoft Germany, noted: “With Breeze Technologies we support a young company that shows by example how cloud-based data analysis leads to actionable recommendations to improve urban air quality. A very relevant topic for citizens and municipalities.” The data can be used in urban planning, real-time air pollution control measures or traffic routing.