161: A Fitbit for your home

uHoo - Know your air

Imagine having a Fitbit for your home and being able to see, in real time, how it’s performing. You could also be notified of any hazards like high levels of CO2 and VOCs as they occur – before you start to get a headache or start having respiratory problems.

Dustin Onghanseng, Co-Founder and CEO of uHoo
Dustin Onghanseng, Co-Founder and CEO of uHoo

I spoke with Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng, cofounder and CEO of uHoo, an exciting new product that could be the Fitbit for your home.

Asthma and Respiratory Illness

The statistics for asthma and respiratory illness around the world are scary. In the US, 7 million children and 18 million adults suffer from some form of respiratory illness. In Singapore 15% of adults have asthma and 40% have rhinitis, or hay fever. In Australia 10% of the population is reported to be suffering from asthma and here in New Zealand, asthma is the leading cause of child hospitalisation.

Know you Air

A big problem currently is that our houses are dumb. They’re like cars without a dashboard. Most of us don’t even know what the internal temperature is, let alone humidity and pollutants. uHoo aims to change that with high quality sensors coupled with cloud and app-based technology.

Air Pollutants

Pollutants in your home can include:

  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Chemicals from cleaning products
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
Pro Clima
Sponsored Link

With uHoo you’ll be able to measure:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Dust (PM2.5)
  • VOCs
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Ozone
  • Air pressure

uHoo what's in the box

Get a Fitbit for your home

You can support uHoo and secure yourself up to 40% off by going to their Indiegogo campaign page, or by hitting the pre-order button on the uHoo website.

I’ve already pre-ordered mine!

  • Kara

    This could be a good thing – but I am missing any accuracy indicators in the sensor specs.

    • mcutlerwelsh

      I have discussed this with Dustin. I agree, it’d be good to get some more specific information. However, like you wouldn’t expect a Fitbit to take the place of an ECG machine in a hospital, I think the value here will come from a device that’s acceptable (even attractive) to the masses and will communicate trends.

      • Kara

        Matthew, I am not expecting the accuracy to be in the 1% range for the price – but it would be good to know whether the confidence range is 10, 30, 50 or more percent off the reading. There is a threshold for inaccuracy where a reading becomes basically useless, and where you can just as well sniff the air to check it – and them not telling any range makes me a tad suspicious that we are dealing with a large degree of uncertainty. So, naturally, I am wondering: is it still a useful tool?

        • Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng

          Hi Kara, thanks for your question! uHoo is a highly reliable device and thus we are already being used in some commercial spaces such as hospitals and day care centers. The largest possible deviation across all the 8 sensors is plus minus 3%. 🙂

          • Kara

            Great! Could you publish the sensor accuracy ratings and calibration data? For some sensors, eg CO2, it would also be good to know the sensor type. Is this NDIR? And for eg VOC it would be interesting to know which sampling protocol you adhere to. Generally, the more information you publish on what’s under the hood, the easier it becomes to not see this as just another IAQ gimmick.

          • mcutlerwelsh

            Hi Kara, I’ve been back in touch with Dustin and they’re not prepared to reveal too much more at this stage of their campaign. Their goal and strategy is to get uHoo into as many hands as possible and let people judge for themselves, the benefits of having the information it provides.

          • Kara

            Hmm – how’s anyone without access to a number of calibrated instruments going to judge the value of the information for themselves? Does this come back to sniffing the air – and checking the matching figures on the display?

          • mcutlerwelsh

            I guess the value of the information for most people will be a) is it interesting enough to make them change behaviour or something about their home, and b) do these changes improve their health and well being?