Just because it's illegal for people to smoke in certain areas, it doesn't necessarily mean they won't, and putting up a 'No Smoking' sign isn't much of a deterrent. So Joseph BelBruno, a chemistry professor from Dartmouth College, has turned his research on second-hand smoke into a new kind of smoke detector that's specifically tuned to detect cigarettes and marijuana, and then rat out the smoker.
No one wants to be a rat, but no one wants to die of lung cancer either, so the AirGuard just might be the most effective tool at stopping people from smoking where they shouldn't. Two versions will be available: a handheld battery-powered model that connects to an Android smartphone over Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi model that plugs directly into an outlet so it never runs out of power.
Using a set of polymer films that BelBruno helped develop, the AirGuard units are able to accurately detect cigarette or marijuana smoke that a regular smoke alarm wouldn't, and then automatically log and report the incident, at times allowing a smoker to be caught in the act. When available early next year, the company will market the AirGuard detectors to hotels that don't want patrons smoking in their rooms, but it will also make them available to other customers as well, like parents eager to prevent their kids from lighting up. [FreshAir via Gizmag]
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