Overly-Dramatic Air Monitor Uses an Animated Canary That Passes Out When Air Quality Worsens

Overly-Dramatic Air Monitor Uses an Animated Canary That Passes Out When Air Quality Worsens

Everyone from Amazon to Dyson sell devices for monitoring the air quality in a home, most of which alert users through their mobile devices when a problem is detected, but none of them approach the problem so dramatically as the Canairi air monitor. This…cute…device uses a bright yellow bird that appears to pass out when elevated levels of carbon dioxide are detected.

For those not familiar with their real life lore, up until as recently as 1986, miners around the world brought caged canaries deep into the underground mines where they worked, as an early warning system against toxic gases or elevated levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. A bird’s breathing anatomy is uniquely situated to facilitate the constant flapping of its wings during flight and the reduced concentration of air at higher altitudes. Birds get a dose of fresh air both when inhaling and exhaling, to boost the absorption of oxygen into their bloodstreams. But for the purposes of old-timey miners, it also makes them react faster to toxins in the air. When miners saw that a bird like a canary had passed out or died, they knew it was time to get out of the mine and find fresh air as quickly as possible — and that’s the general idea behind the Canairi.

Inside the wall mountable device (made of recycled plastic) is a sensor that monitors the concentration of CO₂ in the air, as well as a USB rechargeable battery that’s good for about three months of use between charges. If the detected level of CO₂ in a room rises past 1,000 parts per million, a plastic yellow canary standing on a perch faints or drops dead, depending on how you want to interpret it hanging upside down and limp.

Users are encouraged to open windows to air out the room they’re in once the canary makes its dramatic performance, and when detected CO₂ levels fall below 1,000 PPM again, the bird miraculously regains consciousness (or comes back to life) and returns to standing atop its perch. Unlike offerings from Amazon or Dyson, the Canairi has no wireless connectivity, no accompanying apps, no flashing lights, and not even an audible alarm. It’s designed to be easy to understand and interpret through the animated bird’s actions.

The creators of the Canairi have turned to a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help move from the prototype stage to a device they can ship to consumers. They’ve already far surpassed their $US7,150 ($9,926) funding goal, and interested buyers can pre-order the Canairi with a $US115 ($160) contribution, with delivery expected as early as October, later this year.

As with any crowdfunded product, you’ll also want to budget for patience, as shipping dates often slip. Particularly during an ongoing pandemic that continues to contribute to global supply chain issues that can make even the largest companies on Earth faint.