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Finnish researchers develop miniature gas sensor for mobile devices


Espoo, Finland – A miniature gas sensor that can be connected to mobile devices and facilitates easier detection of internal air problems has been developed by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The miniaturized gas sensor is based on adjustable optical filters that VTT has developed over the years, known as Fabry-Pérot interferometers, that are used for a variety of spectroscopy-based applications.

By utilizing mobile healthcare applications that gauge quantities of carbon dioxide, sleep quality measurement is thus enabled with greater precision. This breakthrough also opens the floodgates for creating new applications for smartphones, such as monitoring quality of sleep by measuring the sleeper’s exhalations.

VTT’s announcement arrives amidst a current spike in interest from many sensor developers regarding the use of smartphones to measure gas concentrations. Anna Rissanen, leader of the VTT research team, attributes this to the growth of the Internet of Things, which enables indirect observations of a variety of environmental factors based on data gathered from single sensors or sensor networks.

“Many day-to-day issues, such as precision and efficiency in the workplace, can depend on carbon dioxide levels and internal air quality,” says Rissanen.

The miniaturized gas sensor is based on adjustable optical filters that VTT has developed over the years, known as Fabry-Pérot interferometers, that are used for a variety of spectroscopy-based applications.