A pocket-sized air-quality tester packed with sensors

The portable Huma-i from South Korea cleverly detects a swathe of airborne nasties

Huma-i air monitor, $119.88
Huma-i air monitor, $119.88 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

In the interests of finding you great stuff most people don’t have, I spend a lot of time combing through crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter and buy products rather than ask struggling startups for review samples. That’s how this portable air-quality monitor came to turn up in the post from South Korea long after I had forgotten ordering it. You may have noticed I have featured a few quality monitors in recent years – Foobot, Awair and Netatmo Home Coach, along with AirBubbl, which is more of an air cleaner for inside the car, and Dyson’s air-scrubbing Pure Cool room fan. So yes, there is a theme here, and yes, it’s dictated by my being a fully paid-up member of “the worried well” – who lived for a few years in a house where the air definitely wasn’t good.

The delightful little Huma-i, however, is the first portable air tester I have seen, and if you work in a building you suspect is a bit on the toxic side, you will love it. It’s exceptionally neat – weighs just 60g – and is a user-friendly little thing that tests for CO2, particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as recording temperature and humidity. It comes in a handy rubber jacket, and agrees with all the other trusted non-portable instruments I have tested it against.

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