American scientists have engineered a new application for smartphone which is allow you to see air quality and the level of pollitants named Air Visibility Monitoring and this is an Android App….
The app, named Visibility, works quite simply according to Gaurav Sukhatme, computer science professor and the head researcher behind its development. All the user has to do is take picture of the sky while the sun is shining. This photo can then be compared to established models of sky luminance to estimate visibility. According to Sukhatme, visibility is related to the concentration of harmful “haze aerosols.” These tiny particles collect from dust, engine exhaust, mining or other sources in the air.
Sukhatme, who worked extensively with Sameera Poduri, a postdoctoral researcher at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, designed the app for the Android platform. He said it hopes many people download it, which would allow them to improve the software.
The reason the app works is because modern smartphones uses a set of sensors that include cameras, GPS systems, compasses and accelerometers. The accelerometer in the phone determines how the user is holding the phone, determining whether it displays information vertically or horizontally. This ultimately ensures the user will hold it in the right direction.
According to the researchers, getting the right image is critical in the success of getting this app to work. The human element is essential they say. The user must make sure the picture is of the sky.While the accelerometers and the compass capture the image three dimensionally, a phone’s GPS captures the date and time. This allows the app to find out the position of sun when the photo was taken. Once the image is taken, it’s uploaded automatically to a central computer, where the data is analyzed.
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