Dita: Designer Air Quality Monitor

by Attkon Tech

A personal air quality monitor in a beautiful unibody construction designed to be part of your life.

$1,895 raised

of $5,000 goal

38% Funded Campaign Suspended
May 28 2015
suspended

Details

With massive media coverage about how air pollution is endangering our life, most of us are aware of the importance of air quality control. While there are dedicated apps and websites that disclose the Air Quality Index of your post-code, how do you know whether your car, your office or even your home is secure from all those invisible villains lurking in the atmosphere, looking for trouble at any given chance? Pollution can come from both outdoors and indoors. You can seal all the windows when you see a smoking chimney next door, yet you may not realize the allergy your love ones are suffering is caused by the newly purchased furniture.

Particulate matter such as dust, pollen, acids and organic chemicals, can be emitted directly or formed secondarily in the atmosphere. These pollutants could cause allergies, premature death from heart or lung disease as health studies have shown.

Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs) such as Ammonia, Carbon Monoxide and Formaldehyde, are emitted by varieties of products numbering in thousands, e.g. paints and lacquers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials, photo-copiers, adhesives. They can cause eye, nose, throat irritation; headaches, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system, especially to young children.

These invisible or even odorless pollutants all share a common trait – they can lead to long lasting damage to health.

What is Dita?

Dita is a designer Air Quality Monitor which detects and monitors TVOCs, Particulate Matter, Temperature and Humidity.

The Design

The design of Dita follows a natural and simple rule – the Golden Ratio (Divine Proportion), a mathematical concept nature obeys and that we humans subconsciously recognize as an expression of perfection, which makes Dita more than just intelligent hardware, it’s a piece of art equipped with advanced technology. The whole device operates through one control button on the top that combines two simple and intuitive moves together: “Twist” and “Press”.

Divine proportion - The design of Dita follows the golden ratio. Dita is more than just an intelligent hardware, it is a piece of art equipped with advanced technology.

Intuitive control - The whole device operates through one control button on the top. It combines the “twist” and “press” movements together.

The body of Dita is made of black walnut wood from the Appalachian Mountains, North America. It is shaped with Uni-body technology and polished first by CNC machines, later by hands. After 22 days of hard work by local craftsmen, a piece of technological art is ready to improve and decorate your life.

Uni-body - The body of the device is made of black walnut wood from North America, using Uni-body technology to shape and CNC machines to polish.

Polish crastmandship - After 22 days of hard work by local craftsmen, a piece of technological at called Dita is ready to improve and decorate your life.

Due to the nature of black walnut wood, a layer of natural patina will gradually form on the wooden surface to enhance the allure of the art piece. The grain of the wood also makes each Dita nostalgic and unique. It doesn’t take long before you realize Your Dita fits smartly and elegantly into any setting: your office, your garden, your car, and your vintage collection!

Magbelt - is a handmade accessory made of genuine Italian leather with magnetic buttons on both ends. Smart, timeless, attach and go.

Each Dita comes with built-in Li-ion battery and a Magbelt. The belt is made of genuine Italian leather with magnetic buttons on both ends, so that it can be attached to the device without any adhesive or nail. Simply attach the magbelt onto your Dita to increase its mobility: you can hang it on the rooftop, on a tree, or even on a drone to track air quality.

For people with smaller budgets, we have produced a more affordable version that does not sacrifice functionality or design – Dita ZenWhite, made from Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), the same material as used in Lego bricks. It is an economical engineering plastic that is generally easy for fabrication, safe for daily use. Dita ZenWhite is a lighter, stronger, truly budget-friendly portable Air Quality Monitor for every household.

“Di” is the sound when you twist the control button, “Ta” is the sound when Magbelt attaches. Dita is not only an art-work of practical use, but also a piece of melody we compose to light up your day.

“Good design is as little design as possible” – Dieter Rams, a well-known German industrial designer, who’s unobtrusive approach and belief in “less but better” design generated a timelessness nature in his products and have influenced the design of many products.

Dita is a tribute to Dieter Rams, for its simplicity throughout design and application. The following motion graphic video by MOGE and Attkon is our way to honor his works and his Ten Principles for Good Design.

Technology

Dita is embedded with powerful sensor and processing chip, which are tested rigorously to make sure its accuracy.

1. Particulate Matter Sensor – from GE It is a compact optical dust sensor consisted of an IRED infrared-emitting diode and a photo transistor. It can measure the reflected light off of the airborne dust particles. This technology is effective at detecting airborne particles especially when combined with Attkon analysis technology.

2. TVOC sensor – from Figaro The sensor chip is durable with low power consumption and highly sensitive to gaseous air contaminants. The sensing element is comprised of a metal oxide semiconductor layer formed on the alumina substrate of a sensing chip together with an integrated heater. In the presence of detectable gas, sensor conductivity increases depending on gas concentration in the air. A simple electrical circuit can convert the change in conductivity to an output signal which corresponds to the gas concentration.

With the newly customized Attkon-Tech air quality analysis technique, Dita is able to test particulate matter (includes PM2.5) and TVOCs in the air, then transform the data into number indicators in real-time. Once a test result is finalized, the system will automatically match the result with 6 levels of air quality evaluation. You don’t need to be an expert to understand the reading, qlert will be triggered if a certain level of pollution or a fire hazard is detected. When Dita goes into idle mode, the monitor turns into a Dita clock, smart and simple. Additional features like Temperature and Humidity can always come in handy in daily life.

Built-in Wi-Fi solution enables Dita to sync with data cloud, users can track air quality as well as receive pollution alert on your smart devices from every corner of the world. Push up message on your connected device will provide reasonable suggestions on air quality improvement.

Remote Access - Built in WiFi solution enables Dita to synch with data cloud. Users can track air quality and receive pollution alerts on their smart devices.

Open Api is our next step forward. In the near future, Dita will be able to interact with air purifiers and DOAS(Dedicated Outdoor Air System), to solve air pollution problems real-time.

How does it work

“Press and hold” the button to switch On/Off, “twist” to select between the three features displayed on the circle LED screen: Temperature, Humidity, PM2.5. An overall air quality evaluation will be given to real-time test results: Excellent, Good, Lightly polluted, Moderately Polluted, Heavily Polluted, Severely Polluted, according to Air Quality Index (AQI). When test result reaches a concerning level, You will receive a push up message on your Wi-Fi compatible smart device, sent from data cloud with recommended methods to improve the air quality or to modify your outdoor activity. It’s easy enough even for younger and elderly users. Dita is designed to bring you the most useful feature with the least operation possible.

The Story

Made in China is experiencing a drastic change of social status, original ideas and creative inventions have sprouted from all over the country in the last decade. MJ (short for MingJie, not Michael Jackson), the product manager/founder of Attkon Tech, whose family has been suffering from poor air condition in Guangzhou, decided to start an air quality monitor project. In the mean time, he realized big companies tend to enjoy solid profit than nurturing new ideas, so he left his first brain-child, Pinlo Technology, to work on the project on his own. Together we have worked on several different prototypes on an early phase, but MJ knew that one important piece was still missing in the design until one day he laid eyes on his old iPod video – it’s a classic design inspired by Dieter Rams’ model T3.

After this “moment of clarity”, our progress is sped up drastically.

Based on model T3 and technical support from partners, we came up with a simplified design and built our first model.

After a long trial period, we settled on the design as what it looks like today, and named this refined piece of art: Dita. Besides showing respect to the genius of the industry, “Di” and “Ta” are also the sounds it makes through its operation.

Simple. Timeless - A simple design of square and circle generates a timeless nature. Dista fits naturally into your home, office, and anywhere you go.

As soon as the design is settled, we wanted to do a small production run to test the idea among beta users.

At first, MJ was running door to door to locate a reliable manufacturer. Luckily, he met up with other great minds soon after, and in three months’ time Attkon has formed partnership with an innovative hardware manufacturer: Shenzhen Emie.

Every detail has come together naturally and with ease; our friends and partners have been amazed when they see the finished products. Not long after the beta version shipped out, Dita was blowing up Chinese blogs and Social Network sites. Media coverage was boosted over night, with requests for more information coming from various channels, and all asking for an official release.

Following feedback from beta testers, we subsequently made a number of adjustments such as replacing the formaldehyde sensor with TVOC, so as to extend its monitor range, and building an budget-friendly version so that everyone could afford.

The Team

As a group of 7, Attkon Tech. is a hardware design company consisted of the least man power with the maximum productivity. From product design, hardware & software engineering to marketing and media coverage, we have achieved more than expected.

(Fortunately hardware engineer Richard He was away during the excruciating photo shoot…)

Our office is located in Yi-Gather Co-working space, Guangzhou, China – Free and talented minds from all walks of life gather here every day – this is where the magic happens. From focus group, to product testing and KS campaign, the whole community is actively involved, as if Dita was their own brain child.

Along the way, we’ve received more help than we could have asked for, more encouragement than we have expected. There are too much gratitude to pay, too many names to say...... so they are listed as the following:

Dedicated to the ones who make Dita happen. A million thanks to their help and love: MJ, Garfield, Kat, Law, Richard, Tina, Yabbi, Peng Lin, Jim, Jack T., Wilson, Zhang Lei, Chen GuoSheng, Jean, Bruce, Sue, Adam ,Jourim, Chris, CC, Tim, Jack M., Paul, jiang Yong, Eddie, Terrie, co-founders of 357, Sopio, Michael C., Kenny, Fido, David, Allan, Sven, Jack H., Dennis S., Mei Jia, DK, Shining, Spencer, Dayu, Bob, Robo, Michael Li., Wallence. THANK YOU!

Dita Specifications

Monitored Matter PM2.5 TVOC T
Technology Light Scattering Semiconductor Resistance
Operating Range 0-999.9 0-999.9 -40-85
Measurement Ug/m^3 Mg/m^3 ˚C
Display Accuracy 1 0.01 0.1
Deviation ±20% ±20% 0.5˚C
Method Auto Auto Auto
Real-time Updates 1s 1s 1s
Power Adapter Output 5V1A
Li-ion Battery 3.7 2600mAh
Weight 200g
Size
  • Black Walnut - 135mm x 84.4mm x 35mm
  • ZenWhite - 129mm x 80mm x 35mm

Why we need you

Earlier this year we lunched a small production run to test the idea and collect user feed-backs. We were surprised to find that most of the beta users are pleased with the device despite its minor defects. Based on the feed-backs, we made several adjustment to improve its endurance and accuracy. Now that we have the upgraded prototype, we are ready to bring it to the world. But as a start up company, we need your help to fund the project; and as a team of people concerned about our world and guarding our loved ones, we need your help to raise everyone’s awareness about the environment they live in.

Risk and challenges

  1. While Uni-body process on black walnut wood provides Dita with a unique and smart profile, it is time consuming and relatively expensive. With a standardized manufacture process on top of bulk purchase, we managed to condense production time into one month as well as to control both material and labour cost.
  2. With every innovation comes with risk. By working closely as a small team we achieved maximum efficiency in product development. However, we have to rely on our manufacturer partner to deliver the product in time. This requires a great effort of communication which is labour consuming with the risk of generating extra cost.
  3. Our engineers have worked hard to make the app accessible on Android market and App Store, but we still need a few alterations in order to meet the requirements. Rewards.

Credits

Attkon Tech

Attkon Tech is an intelligent hardware design company located in Guangzhou, China.


April Sek

Felipe Tan

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