Residents of many parts of India are aware of the hazardous smog we live in. Delhi and Mumbai have repeatedly crossed extremely hazardous levels of air pollution and we've done nothing to curb this. In fact, a majority of the people don't realise how unhealthy the air around us is. When was the last time you looked up and got awed by a crystal clear blue sky?
In the last decade, mobile phones have evolved from machines that can make a call to portable swiss knives that can do everything. One smartphone today is capable of replacing a camera, MP3 player, television, radio, and even a PC. We've slowly managed to add complex measuring instruments like a gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, and proximity sensor in them as well.
Now, according to a patent filing by Apple, they are considering adding a poison sensor that would be capable of detecting carbon monoxide (CO) and other harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, breathing unhealthy air has become an inevitable part of daily life for many of us. Microscopic particles too small for the eye to see are released into the air from cars, trains, power plants, factories and other sources.
© Via Patently Apple
CO is a poisonous gas that kills many people every year. Being colourless and odourless, it is impossible to detect by humans. If Apple can actually materialize such a sensor, it'll be a vital life-saving tool.
Having a miniature gas sensor built into an iPhone or Apple Watch will be able to notify a user that they could possibly be in a dangerous environment at home, at work or in the public. The process of making this feasible includes producing robust miniature gas sensors with features like improved stability, enhanced poisoning resistance, and reduced signal interference.
© Via Patently Apple
In terms of a long-term solution, the sensors can become part of a larger system that monitors environmental and health hazards and will be a core part of IoT (Internet of Things).
Apple Watch has already saved numerous lives thanks to improper heart rate detection, thus predicting diseases and long term health issues. Even the new "trip" function onboard the Series 4 has saved many who couldn't communicate due to an accident.
Source: Patently Apple