Nina Sakhnini

CS Ph.D. student, University of Illinois at Chicago
UI Engineer, Caterpillar

nsakhn2 [AT]

User Preferences in Personal Pollution Monitoring Technologies

Practices and Preferences

Abstract. Long-term exposure to air pollution can cause adverse health effects. Many efforts are underway to develop affordable, portable, and accurate technologies to help people monitor air pollution regularly. Although personal, wearable air pollution monitoring technologies are popular among some technology enthusiasts and citizen scientists, we know little about air pollution monitoring practices and references of lay individuals. We conducted a sequential explanatory mixed-methods study (n = 321) to understand people’s current air pollution monitoring practices and their requirements for personal air pollution monitoring technologies. Although concerned about the adverse effects of air pollution (94%), less than 10% reported checking the levels of air pollution at least once a week. Respondents were more likely to carry a monitoring device as a bag accessory (74%) or wear it on their wrist (42%), than around their shoes, waist, or neck. If monitoring were available, however, it was unclear how much that would manifest behavior changes in individuals. We discuss how our findings can inform future technology design.