The story of Airthings: the first ten years

Marie Bannister
October 5, 2018

The year 2018 marks a special occasion for us here at Airthings: our ten year anniversary. With this on our minds, we have taken a moment to look back over our time together. We found this to be a very humbling experience, as it made us remember why we started this crazy journey.

As our team has grown and products have been developed, it can be tempting to focus solely on our future goals, aims and big plans. However, it is also crucial to remember the importance of our original intentions, all those years ago. Who we aimed to help. Why we began this journey. Considering this, we compiled The story of Airthings, as much for our readers as it is for ourselves. It is at the heart of our core beliefs, a reminder that as we develop, our foundation remains the same.

The Story of Airthings

The idea was simple. Combine science and technology for an honest purpose.

We started working on several different projects, one being mammography, helping to create machines for cancer departments in hospitals. We were helping, but not on a big enough scale.

Then it hit us. What if we could help prevent a carcinogenic rather than to look for it after the fact?

In 2008, we started working together to make a difference. Although our backgrounds as CERN scientists taught us so much about radiation, we now wanted to use our specialized skills to help our community. We wanted to develop something new.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer amongst non-smokers. Then why does the average household only have two sub-par testing options which only offer a one-time, analog, or charcoal measurement?

X + Y did not = Z, and for us scientific folk, that is something we could not accept.

We decided to invent a whole new Radon detector. Its key improvements? Battery powered digital detectors which could provide both long and short-term measurements.

Like all new projects, we needed funding. We were, and still are, very grateful to be awarded our first grant from The Norwegian Research Council to get started. They also saw the need for improvement, the extra jobs created in Norway and the necessity of upgrading current Radon detectors.

Nearly two years of research and long hours and we finally created our first prototype. We just needed to test it.

In 2009 we met with Professor Göran Nyman who kindly lent us his Radon chamber so that we could test out our technology. It was here that we realized our idea had become a reality.

We kept testing, improving and tweaking until finally in 2011 we launched the Corentium Home.

The sensors were, and still are unlike any other on the market, and had to be tri-patented.

Making it from scratch enabled us to detect Radon quicker, digitally and provide long-term measurements at low power.

Soon after came the Plus, the professional product for Europe. This included humidity and tilt sensors. At this point, we had less than five employees and were working out of a tiny basement office. But we knew our digital Radon sensor could do even more.

We therefore expanded our range to create fully certified products for the US and Canada, that all professionals could use. We launched the Pro, our first app-connected product. This unit included four of our original Radon sensors as well as a brand new design.

2016 was a big year for us. We connected with EGGS, a local design agency and completely rebranded and prepared for our biggest release yet: The Wave. Our very first smart Radon detector that was fully connected with an app, wave function and dashboard analytics.

Expanding our team to include firmware, app and cloud teams ensured that we could keep nearly everything in-house. By doing so, we continued to follow our product’s development from start to finish, making sure they were the best on the market. When we were ready to launch the Wave, we came out with our new identity as Airthings.

In ten years we have upgraded offices four times. Expanded from 3 founders in a small university office to up to over 35 employees where we do almost everything in-house: firmware, hardware, apps, cloud, marketing, sales, technology innovation and administration. We have revolutionized the Indoor Air Quality game, created expert sensors, apps, a hub, a radon map and we have much more to come.

It has been ten years since we first chose our core values, and they still drive us to this day.

With thanks, from our founders.

 

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