‘How Internet of Things protects against air pollution’
In the process of mitigating the challenges of air pollution, a large number of Internet of Things (IoT)-related technologies have been developed to evaluate and monitor various parameters of air quality.
Specifically, establishing systems for comprehensive network communication, cloud-based decision making, information tracking, and online management based on IoT related technologies will improve the ambient air quality more efficiently.
These were part of the highlights of a webinar organised by IoT Africa Networks Limited with the theme: “Quality Air &COVID-19: How to improve productivity and safety using IoT.”
The IoT generally refers to the goals achieved by following established network communication protocols, connecting items through various networks and using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, various sensors, location recognition systems, and information processing mechanisms.
At the webinar, it was observed that Lagos, being one of the world’s fastest-growing megacities, serving as Nigeria’s economic hub, and that this rapid expansion has resulted in pollution, unhealthy air, and a high prevalence of illness and untimely deaths.
Accordingly, a recent World Bank study in 2018 noted that air pollution, disease, and early deaths in Lagos caused by ambient air pollution cost about $2.1 billion, accounting for nearly 2.1 per cent of the state’s GDP.
Indeed, the webinar noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has remained a global concern, adding that researchers discovered that there is a relationship between the quality of air and the transmission of the virus. It was found that exposure to hazardous air increases the death rate among COVID-19 patients by nine per cent. The pollutants cause respiratory stress, thereby increasing vulnerability to the virus and death rate.
On this, at the webinar, which had three global industry experts as keynote speakers, including the Founder of Connected Finland, Tom Lindblad; the Head of International Relations, RapalOy, MaijaPatjas, and the Executive Director of IoT Africa Limited and Tranter IT Infrastructure Services Limited, Melanie Ayoola, raised awareness about the importance of IoT Air quality and space monitoring using the IoT in the everyday lives of Nigerians, and across sectors.
Ayoola outlined the importance of air quality as it relates to daily productivity. In her presentation, she highlighted how remote work and other corporate workplace perks such as bonus packages and fantastic reward schemes could be undermined by the unavailability of quality air.
Ayoola said: “it could all be less effective in providing a motivated and driven workforce, if the air, the basic natural resource we need to live, is not good enough to sustain the body’s engine”. She noted that the air people breathe impact productivity. She stated that ‘what we are avoiding is an environment where our air is working against us.”
On his part, Lindblad provided additional insights on the topic – “Seeing The Invisible: How Connected Inventions can help to Monitor and Provide COVID-Safe Indoor Quality Air Around You.” He explained how Carbon Monoxide (CO2) levels rise when there is less fresh air, causing headaches, restlessness, drowsiness, and other symptoms. Increased levels have been related to decreased productivity, increased sick leave, and the spread of infectious diseases, making this a serious issue in the office, school, and at home.
The third speaker, MaijaPatjas described how optimized workspaces can create a better work environment and lead to higher efficiency levels among company staff. Maija spoke about how managing hybrid work is making it difficult to optimize space layouts.
She highlighted how the way people are working is changing from an individual-based system into a social, collaborative use of space, with more focus on how employees feel about the environment, and how they can use a more flexible environment to be more productive.
She also explained how improved productivity and collaboration, better satisfaction, better indoor comfort, reduced real estate costs, and energy savings can all be achieved when organizations integrate Smart Space Monitoring.