NewsSTMicroelectronics and Mobile Physics Pioneer Air-Quality Monitoring in Smartphones

STMicroelectronics and Mobile Physics Pioneer Air-Quality Monitoring in Smartphones

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STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leader in the global semiconductor industry, and Mobile Physics, an innovative software-development startup specializing in environmental physics, have announced a groundbreaking collaboration. This partnership introduces a novel capability for smartphones and other devices to measure household and ambient air quality accurately using a built-in optical sensor.

Innovative Solution for Environmental Monitoring

This cutting-edge solution, tailored for ST’s multizone ranging sensors, extends the utility of these sensors beyond traditional applications such as camera autofocus and presence detection to include precise air-quality measurement. The Mobile Physics’ EnviroMeter app, functioning alongside ST’s sensors, serves as a personal, portable environment monitor and smoke detector, offering accuracy on par with dedicated air-quality monitors. Thanks to ST’s energy-efficient technology, this feature operates continuously, ensuring persistent air-quality awareness without significantly affecting device battery life.

Addressing Public Health Concerns

With annual deaths attributable to household air pollution reaching 3.2 million, and combined ambient air pollution contributing to 6.7 million premature deaths globally, the need for widespread air-quality monitoring has emerged as a critical public health imperative. This collaboration leverages ST’s market presence and Mobile Physics’ software expertise, integrating the latter’s software with ST’s VL53L8 direct time-of-flight (dToF) sensor within the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 smartphone platform. Demonstrated at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2023, this initiative marks the creation of the world’s first smartphone equipped with an always-on air-quality sensing and smoke detection feature.

Enhancing Personal Health and Safety

“Personal environment monitoring offers individuals enhanced control over their health and safety through their smartphones,” stated Erez Weinroth, CEO of Mobile Physics. The collaboration brings the precision of high-end environmental monitors to smartphones in a more accessible and compact form. Alex Balmefrezol, General Manager at STMicroelectronics’ Imaging Sub-Group, highlighted the creative application of dToF sensor data by Mobile Physics to develop this cost-effective and streamlined environment monitor.

Comprehensive Environmental Data

The air-quality sensing solution, part of Mobile Physics’ EnviroMeter Software Development Kit (SDK), also delivers data on various environmental parameters, including temperature, wind, and noise levels. Capable of detecting particles smaller than 2.5 microns, the solution empowers users to safeguard their health without requiring any additional hardware beyond a standard dToF sensor and the Mobile Physics software.

Invitation to Mobile World Congress 2024

STMicroelectronics invites interested parties to visit their booth (7A61) at Mobile World Congress 2024 for a live demonstration of the air-quality monitoring technology, showcasing the practical application of this innovative solution in enhancing public wellness.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.