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Microsoft Research has a Windows Phone 'Urban Air' app to help monitor smog levels in China

Urban Air

Every once in a while, a Microsoft Research app sneaks past our radar. Today that app is ‘Urban Air’ and it’s quite neat, but only if you’re in China.

China, needless to say, has a bit of a pollution problem that can have some deleterious effects on people’s health. Being able to see those alerts and conditions could be vital on how to plan your day. Luckily, you can now download this nifty little app to get a glance at the pollution level at that moment in various locations e.g. home and work. The app came out last month, but it recently had an update.

Microsoft Research puts out some intriguing little apps for Windows Phone with new technology that may eventually work its way into other products. For instance, yesterday we saw the release of ‘Time of My Life’, which helps you monitor where you spend your time during the day/week/month.

If you’re in China or travel there often, you can go pick Urban Air up here in the Windows Phone Store. It’s not region restricted, but it is only in Chinese (Edit: if you can find it in the menu, you can change it to English).

Thanks, Guy El K., for the tip

QR: urban air



There are 12 comments. Sign in to comment

Hope they release the app for other countries as well.

Oh some love for china too.. (they do get more love than India on many occasions, like on the first list of countries to be supported by cortana on first launch)

gandhirushi says:

"A bit of a problem"?? ... That's a huge understatement. I was there in Beijing early last year and the pollution levels were ridiculous.

karocage says:

No kidding, I live in Beijing and the air is a constant factor. It's unbelievably bad. Apps like this are a requirement for daily life (should I go outside, should I wear a breathing mask, etc. etc.)

...it was sarcasm. It's like in Monty Python and the Holy Grail 'it's just a flesh wound' thing.

gandhirushi says:

Daniel.. I understand. It was just a sudden outburst of emotion mainly due to the terrible experience I had.

LeoDotLiu says:

Thanks for microsoft, its really useful.

karocage says:

Correction: it's also in English. You just have to be able to read enough Chinese to get to the settings page (or, go to the second text item when you expand the app bar, then top drop down box)

PepsimanLeh says:

Good to see Microsoft creating apps for other countries as well.

neonspark says:

Easy app: hardcode string to "DANGEROUS"


dmacke says:

This was probably created primarily for their employees in and traveling to China.

hotellonely says:

Ahh... Feeling shamed.