After Beijing gobbled up the entire stock of the Origins Laser Egg air quality monitor in December, the device is now back in stock — with upgrades as well as a pledge for previous purchasers.
Origins—the local Bexinqiao based startup behind the slick air quality reader—recently announced a host of new features for the egg’s 2016 incarnation.
Chief among them is an airflow regulation function that will boost its long term accuracy. A statement on the company’s website explains how layers of dust can gradually gather on the tiny fan that draws air into the device’s sensor, which can lead to the fan slowing down and thus a drift to occur in the PM 2.5 readings.
In the latest egg, data on fan speed is used to adjust readings and self-calibrate on the fly.
Origins founder Liam Bates said the overall difference in those dust-hampered readings is likely negligible for average users, but the company can’t help but want to improve it. “We always want to make it more and more super, ridiculously accurate, without increasing cost by a huge magnitude,” he said.
The company concedes that earlier versions of the egg had issues with its temperature and humidity readings, so they removed those this time around.
Bates wasn’t necessarily surprised by such minor early glitches. “We had a pretty fast development time with our fist version, because we were really excited to get it out there and have it people’s hands," he said. "But, over time, we began to say to ourselves: ‘Oh we could do this better, or upgrade that’ to make it a better and better product.”
Other tweaks include boosted Wi-fi strength, a longer-lasting battery and a sturdier scratch-proof screen.
Possessors of the earlier version of the egg need not feel envy though, as several of these upgrades (with the exception of the scratch-proof screen) can be added to the 2015 models, which Origins is offering to do free of charge starting Feb. 18 (along with a complimentary cleaning to address fan speed problems).
For more information on the latest incarnation, click here.