IKEA in collaboration with Space10 tasked us with creating a product that fostered the habit of fresh living in an urban context. The product had to be geared toward household or office use and be future focused.

Through our research, we discovered that most people immediately associate fresh living with healthy food, exercise and getting enough sleep. On further thinking, they also add environmental factors to it, like fresh air and low noise levels, but these are quickly dismissed as they are not entirely in their own control.

Inspired by this finding, we created a product called Vāyu, which is a smart window controller. The word itself means air in Hindi. Vāyu has a range of sensors that sense indoor air quality in terms of carbon dioxide and humidity levels, and temperature. It also gathers outdoor wind and pollution data at different times of the day, and senses your presence in the room. And with all this data it programs itself to smartly maintains good indoor air quality by simply opening and closing the windows at the right time.

Over time, the controller also learns from your behaviour and adapts to it. If there are multiple of these installed in a vicinity, it can even talk to them and can collectively improve cross ventilation patterns.

Indoor air pollution kills more people every year than outdoor air pollution. And all we need to do to alleviate it, is to open our windows, but at the right time.