Text by: Alberto Navarro – ITCL Institute of Technology ; Marteyn van Gasteren – Project Manager – ITCL Institute of Technology
The WorkingAge project partners have designed a proprietary environmental sensor device to assess environmental conditions in the workplace. This device measures illumination, temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 concentration (a measure for “fresh air”) and provides pre-processed information to the WA App via Bluetooth connection. By doing so, the system can perform an assessment on user comfort levels by monitoring programmable thresholds during predefined sampling periods, which provides high level comfort warnings:
- High or low temperature
- High or low relative humidity
- Over-illumination or poor illumination
- High CO2 concentration
Although sensor operation parameters and high-level information generation thresholds are fully configurable, a study on European regulations on workplace and indoor conditions has been performed to determine their default values. In the tool these values can configured in accordance to the distinctive features of the user profiles, workplaces, or task performed.
We stress here that we are not measuring health risks for the user, but instead comfort levels. Discomfort negatively influences well-being at work – the core of the WorkingAge project. This is one of the measures that are expected to depend on the age of the worker.
The developed device features reduced dimensions and unattended low power operation supplied by a 3.7 V Li-Po battery that can be charged with any standard USB port or charger via its microUSB connector. Its design, based on a System on Chip (SoC), built around an Arm® Cortex™-M4 CPU with floating point unit running at 48 MHz, renders a non-invasive and user-friendly device that can be easily place on any workplace desktop and require no intervention by the user.