We built Ambee at an IoT hackathon, at Amazon Development center in Bangalore. We won the hackathon, but little did we know that our lives were about to change.
We had used LinkitOne Grove starter Kit and MediaTek on an Arduino board. Ambee had a AQI sensor (Air Quality sensor), CO sensor, Temperature & Humidity, Dust, Noise and UV sensor hooked to a Bluetooth and a Wifi module to send data to our webserver that would show all of this data on a web application that housed a nice looking dashboard. We then had designed an amazing mobile dashboard that you can still see it on our webpageeven to this day.
This was 2 years ago. I and my family had relocated recently moved to Bangalore and was living on the outskirts of Electronic City. As a family, we slowly started picking up a cough, cold, breathing issues and my 6-month-old son was also fighting it out. Numerous doctor visits would only yield temporary relief, and the sickness would return with a bank next time in about a few days’ time.
We didn’t know what was going on but it was debilitating for my son and also painful for us, parents to see him suffer all through the night.
One day when I had Ambee prototype that we built at this hackathon, I left it hooked up to the server and had missed to disconnect it for about 3 days. But what I saw was disturbing. At the place where I stayed there was a rise of PM2.5 and AQI from 3 AM till about 9 AM and it would gradually go down.
Little did I realize then that this was what causing all the cold and cough and it was all turning worse. Cutting the story short, a few days later, my childhood friend, who is also a Doctor, Dr. Arjun, calls me in intrigue that the PM2.5 could be the cause of all the cough, cold and wheezing that housed in my family, especially my son.
We scouted the area and we figured there is a Garment factory that burnt something everyday in the morning to produce textile and keep it ready when their workforce came to work at 9 AM. That was what was killing us and hundreds of other children and their families living around.
I couldn’t help all of them then, but I moved out of that location. I like to quote that I used Ambee to look for a house that was free of PM2.5 and had good Air Quality.
Fast-forward 24 months, Ambee helped save 3 other kids, spoke to 300+ people ranging from all ages 18+ to 80 years, included new mothers, working middle-aged people and the retired older generation too. 66% of them wanted to purchase Ambee and they believed this is a huge problem.
Many things pointed towards the huge problem of the crisis our environment is in with deteriorating air quality and affecting the health of men, women, and children. Some young kids suffer from irreparable respiratory disorders. There are 82.5 million mothers in India alone with children under the age of 8 who suffer from Asthma due to air pollution. 600 million children die in this world due to this. 52% Americans live in dangerously polluted air and about a million of them die, around 10 million of them continue to suffer.
This problem became my cause and I met Akshay, Jaideep, Karthik and Vishal who joined hands with me to solve this problem.
Today we have a product that tells you about the air you breathe and an air purifier that works automatically and keeps the ambience around you clean and pure.
We also believe we can drive a change in behavior, give information to people, alert them, and that became our tagline – know better, live better.
I hope to share a lot more about us as we go, please keep watching this space as we share every major step of our journey. Thank you for reading.