Here’s a radical idea: having one more app on my phone won’t make me happier.
It feels like the world is rushing to app-ify everything these days. GPS and texting made my life a lot easier, but there’s a limit. The moment I saw this coffee mug, I knew we reached the limit.
This mug tells you how much coffee is in it, what temperature it is, and how many calories are in it. Wow.
Does that seem mug useful? Would that really make me happier?
I Wish My Life Were A Little Simpler
Air purifier companies are doing the same thing.
They’re packing annoying baggage onto their purifiers—blinking lights, apps, and “smart” modes. On the surface, these “smart” modes seem great. They’re supposed to streamline our life, making decisions for us so we don’t have to. But here’s the thing: most of us have enough apps on our phones already.
Life is already stressful enough as it is, with each app trying to grab my attention every day. For my purifier, I just want a machine that puts out clean air. That’s it. I want it to work, and I want it to be quiet.
Sometimes Smart Is Dumb
Besides being annoying, there’s evidence that some “smart” technologies are actually worse for us. Smart purifiers are actually dumber than regular purifiers. Real-world test data has found that smart auto modes on purifiers like the Xiaomi and the Philips actually leave air at unsafe levels.
Meanwhile, the “stupid” versions keep air at safe levels.
Meet The Sqair: Clean Air, No Noise
That’s why, at Smart Air, we built The Sqair (floppy eared cat optional).
The Sqair is simple like a light bulb: turn it on for clean air. That’s all. No gimmicks or price gouging.
We specifically designed the Sqair without a monitor or “smart” mode, because we believe that breathing clean air shouldn’t be complicated.
If people want to test their air, they can get any of the air quality monitors we’ve validated against official PM2.5 monitors. If people want to turn it on with their phone, a smart wall plug will do the trick.
But if you just want clean air, turn on The Sqair and forget about it. The Sqair won’t bother you with notifications, it will do what it does best: clean air.
How I Protect Myself
Smart Air is a certified B Corp committed to combating the myths big companies use to artificially inflate the price of clean air.
Smart Air provides empirically backed, no-nonsense purifiers and masks, that use the same HEPA filters (that filter 95-99.5% of particles of size 0.3 microns) for a fraction of the cost of big companies.
Thomas is an Associate Professor of Behavior Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the founder of Smart Air, a social enterprise to help people across the world breathe clean air without shelling out thousands of dollars for expensive purifiers.