Electrolux launches smart air purifier for the most polluted cities
Not so long ago, the Electrolux campus in Stockholm was filled with caustic smoke from a fire in a nearby garage.
The developers and managers who were in the office felt a burning tick in their throats. One employee had breathing problems, and she took leave from work. But before going home, she lingered a bit in the building where Andreas Larsson and colleagues tested Pure A9, an air purifier connected to the Internet of things using Microsoft Azure.
The time has come to check what the new device is capable of under extreme conditions.
“We had 10 or 15 Pure A9 air purifiers, and we turned them all on,” recalls Larsson, CTO of Electrolux. - Air quality has changed dramatically. We invited a colleague to our office to sit at the table and work with us. She took a few deep breaths and stayed all day. ”
Launched on March 1 in four Scandinavian countries and Switzerland, as well as earlier in Korea, Pure A9 removes ultrafine particles of dust, impurities, bacteria, allergens and unpleasant odors from the premises.
By connecting the cleaner and the corresponding application to the cloud, Electrolux provides users with real-time data on the quality of air inside and out and monitors the improvement of indoor performance over time. In addition, Pure A9 constantly monitors the level of filter usage, reminding users to order a new one when necessary.
According to Larsson, since Pure A9 is connected to the cloud, he will eventually be able to study the daily schedule of family members - in particular, remember the time when everyone is absent - and work in a smart home system.
“If we can predict that at a certain time no one is in the room, we can guarantee that the filter will not be wasted. - says Larsson. “But by the time someone returns home, the air in the room will be cleared.”
The launch of Pure A9 marked a new stage in Electrolux’s intention to provide “millions of homes around the world with home appliances with networking capabilities to make life easier for consumers.”
He reiterates that "the company's path to improving consumer comfort lies through the Internet of things, software, data and applications." This process began two years ago with a cloud-based robot cleaner called the Pure i9.
Pure i9 cleans the carpet and mops the floor around the table and sofa.
The triangular instrument is equipped with a 3D camera for smart navigation. Moreover, according to Larsson, the Azure IoT platform contributed to the rapid release of the product on the market, providing developers with the ability to update software and expand functionality after its launch. The new functionality includes viewing the map with the display of places already removed by the robot.
A moving robot is now available in the USA, Europe and Asia, including China.
Thanks to the possibility of receiving cloud data from the device, Electrolux launched a unique pilot in Sweden: a vacuum cleaner as a service.
“Swedish customers can subscribe to Pure i9 for $ 8 a month and get 80 m2 of floor cleaning,” Larsson said.
“You only pay for what you use,” he says. - This would not have been possible without connecting to the cloud or without data collection. This product gives us business opportunities that simply did not exist before. ”
This pilot only emphasizes the digital ambitions of a 100-year-old brand, once famous around the world for its vacuum cleaners. Today, Electrolux produces and sells ovens, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, dryers, water heaters, and many other household appliances.
The Pure A9 app provides users with valuable data on indoor air condition. During the launch of Pure i9 in 2017, Larsson said that “it has become apparent that this will not be a single product. An ambitious plan to create an ecosystem of smart, networked products has already begun to take shape. ”
The next type of home appliance with network capabilities was an air purifier connected to the cloud. In September 2018, a team of just three Electrolux developers began building the Azure IoT platform for the future Pure A9. By February 2019, this product has already appeared on the Asian market.
“Azure’s cloud technology enabled them to launch the product on the world market very quickly and with minimal development costs,” said Arash Rassulpor, a Microsoft cloud solutions architect who worked on the project with Electrolux developers.
Electrolux engineers used Azure IoT Hub off-the-shelf functionality, which allowed them not to write programs themselves, but to devote this time to other tasks.
For the first presentation to consumers of its new air purifier, Electrolux chose Korea, where a staggering level of air pollution caused, according to the legislature, a public disaster.
Another day in Seoul, South Korea, is poisoned by smog. Photo: Getty Images
So, on March 5, the South Korean government strongly recommended that Seoul residents wear masks and avoid outdoors because of the record high levels of dust in the air.
Numerous studies have shown that severe air pollution from the outside negatively affects air quality in homes and offices, penetrating through ventilation systems.
Moreover, according to the Environmental Protection Agency , indoor air impurities arising from cleaning products, cooking, and fireplaces can have even more harmful effects on health than air inhaled outdoors.
Electrolux Global Headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.
“By monitoring and controlling indoor air quality, our smart premium air purifier helps improve the climate and, consequently, increase consumer well-being,” said Karin Asplund, Global Director of Electrolux Ecosystems.
“With the Pure A9 app, consumers can better understand the actual work performed by the cleaner, as the data from its sensor sensors is converted into understandable and practical information,” she adds.
Having two devices with network capabilities in their hands, consumers will be able to start the weekend on a comfortable and clean note.
“We want your home to meet you clean and clean when you return home on Friday night,” Larsson says. “You just go in, take off your shoes, sit on the sofa and feel that this is your home.”