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Bitfinder's Awair helps ID harmful stuff in the air

Bitfinder's Awair device and app are designed to detect any air-quality red flags, alert you and suggest areas for improvement.

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Megan Wollerton
meganwollertonportraits0719-23a

Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC's Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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Bitfinder

Pollution, allergens and other harmful particles make indoor and outdoor air quality a concern for many. Still, it isn't exactly easy to pinpoint the specific stuff in the air that might be giving you a hard time. And even if you could, there aren't a lot of ways to improve the situation short of a whole-home HEPA filter or something similarly extreme.

Enter the Bitfinder Awair, an unassuming little countertop device packed full of temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide (CO2), dust (PM2.5) and volatile organic compound (VOC) sensors. Not only is this $149 gizmo supposed to sniff out your air quality problem areas, its companion app is designed to alert you whenever something's amiss.

But that's not where Awair's smart-home capabilities stop. The app can also supposedly take note of your particular health issues and send you related suggestions so you'll feel better without having to do anything too drastic.

Bitfinder says that the W-Fi-enabled Awair can work with third-party products such as the Misfit Shine and Philips Hue LEDs and that an additional hardware component combined with its open API software can transform the dumb humidifiers or purifiers that you might already have at home into smart appliances. It also has plans to partner with Works with Nest and IFTTT.

We haven't seen anything quite like Bitfinder's Awair, although Dyson, Withings and other key brands are placing importance on air quality. Earlier this year, Dyson introduced the Pure Cool , an air-purifying fan and the widely-available $200, £170 Withings Home security camera is equipped with VOC sensors so it can keep track of your health while it's watching over your security.

Awair is available for pre-order today for $149 (at the current exchange rate, that's roughly £100 and AU$195). The price will jump up to $199 (£130, AU$250) after the pre-order period ends and it's expected to start shipping internationally early fall.