A common reaction of people, who meet our Cubes for the first time is: “Wow, they are so small! I thought they’d be bigger.” Yes, each Cube is packed with 7 environmental sensors and a rechargeable battery, but they still fit nicely into the palm of your hand and don’t take up too much of your precious space at home or at the office.
To give you a better perspective of the size of the Cubes, we’ve prepared a little size-comparison infographic:
So, just in case you were wondering, a CubeSensors Cube is smaller than …
- a cat, but the Cube can tell you how to keep your home at the right temperature for a cat nap.
- a sparrow, but the Cube can actually measure noise instead of waking you up too early in the morning with chirping.
- a pot of flowers, but the Cube can detect bad smells, so you’ll know when to open the windows and let some fresh air in.
- a desk lamp, but the Cube can let you know when your office is too dark to work.
- a glass of water, but the Cube can let you know when the air you breath could use extra humidity to prevent dry throats.
- your smartphone, but the Cube streams your environment’s data to the cloud, so you can always check what’s going on in your home. Just to make sure the cat didn’t accidentally cause a flood while chasing the sparrow.
You can order your own Cubes for each room of your home or office through our website.
Ah, winter. The season of colds, flu, and many, many sick days. Something as simple as the common cold makes all of us spend a lot of money on medicine, doctor visits, and lowers our winter productivity and wellbeing. The economic cost of common cold has been estimated at around $40 billion annually in the US alone.
Yet there is a simple thing you can do to stay healthier. Increasing the relative humidity from the low 20-ies to 35% or even more, can lower the transmission rate of bacteria and viruses and increase respiratory comfort during the heating season. Dry, sore throats and itchy eyes don’t have to be a winter accessory!
Saving money and increasing productivity by humidifying
Considering the amount of time we spend in our offices and the combined cost of colds and flu, it really is surprising how many offices (and schools) don’t yet monitor indoor humidity levels and invest in humidifiers.
The costs of indoor air quality monitors and humidifiers can be easily covered by the decrease in absenteeism. And there are other benefits of increasing relative humidity at the office besides avoiding colds and flu:
- Keeping the office in better shape: furniture, carpeting, wood and other interior will preserve their look and functionality longer if the air is at recommended humidity levels. By avoiding extremely dry air, you’ll also reduce static electricity, which can be harmful to electronic devices around the office.
- Feeling less cold at lower temperatures: dry air feels colder and if you feel cold, you are less productive. Which is why higher humidity levels can keep your employees both happier and more productive at lower heating costs.
- Fresh eyes on the job: combine low humidity, contact lenses, not blinking often enough while staring at computer screens for hours, and you’ll get a high level of discomfort. Not only are irritated eyes a distraction, they might even lead to more serious eye problems.
- Avoiding the winter itch: avoiding dry skin is not just a beauty problem. Having the winter itch is uncomfortable and dry air can also affect the health of your hair and nails.
Find the humidity sweet spot
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons for raising indoor relative humidity during winter months. Just make sure not to go over 50% RH; high humidity comes with its own set of problems. With one of our little Cubes in your office, you can easily see how the humidity changes during the day and when it’s time to start or stop humidifying, so you can keep the relative humidity inside the comfort zone.
The optimum zone for relative humidity is between 35% and 50% (source)
If these benefits don’t help you to convince your entire office building to invest into a proper humidification system, you can still invest in a good portable humidifier for your own office. Just don’t forget to regularly clean or change the air filters inside your humidifier!
While we’ve got big plans for the CubeSensors app and future integrations, we also want to make it easy for you to take real-time environmental data from your Cubes and use them in your own projects. That’s why we’ve made our API available as soon as we started shipping our Cubes. And we’re happy to see that you’ve already created several libraries for the CubeSensors API and are making them publicly available.
Liam was the first to publish a library for our API, way back when the API was first announced. You can find his CubeSensors for PHP on GitHub. If you’re a PHP developer, also check out the PHP package wrapper that Daniel recently added.
And there are libraries for other languages and tools too. Joe created a Java library (and wrote about the experience on his blog), Andreas a Nagios plugin, Marshall a node.js module, Conrad a Logstash input plugin, and Tor devised a pretty clever hack for getting Cube data from your own LAN.
So, if you’re a developer who wants to start using one of the publicly available libraries and/or develop your own applications, take a look at the CubeSensors API Docs and send us an email if you’d like developer access for your existing CubeSensors account!