See Just How Polluted Our Skies Are By Using a Free Android App

Illustration for article titled See Just How Polluted Our Skies Are By Using a Free Android App

Weather apps have always confused me—why look at an app to see whether it's raining? Just go outside and see for yourself! The Visibility app, while a really innovative idea, is another puzzling one.

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Surely you can recognize if there's a high concentrate of smog in the atmosphere? Or even if you can't, why would you need to know? What would you do about it, if your Android app warned you of the high level of air pollution one day? Stay indoors? Stop using deodorant?

Regardless of all that, the app does use an astounding amount of technology to verify the presence of smog. Developed by the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering, the user simply has to take a photo of the sky (narrowing the section down to trim out buildings/trees/passing birds choking from the air pollution), and then it's sent automatically along with the GPS, compass, accelerometer and clock data to a central computer for analyzing.

Once crunched, a message is relayed back to the user informing them of the air pollution, and the information is stored on the server for future research. Personal information on the app's user isn't stored, of course, but over time—if enough people use it—it could be a valuable tool for highlighting environmental issues. As if we weren't already aware of how messed-up our world already is. [USC via Gizmag]

DISCUSSION

nothingtoseeheresoz
Nothing to See Here!

Today in Science (Sit down kids) we were talking about the environment, and the teacher showed us a chart, of the population from 1850 to 2050, and the amount of CO2 that will be released in the same amount of time.

Before he was about to move on, I said I think the chart was inaccurate, because by then, we will be using much greener energy, oh gosh, he just had to try and make the chart look better and say "Oh well I don't think we will" and I was thinking "Uhh...course we will..."

This teacher is such a bad teacher, but it's hilarious to watch him teach. Ok, he's a good teacher, but bad in the sense of how he talks, like, (You can stop reading now) he once said "What the FUCK is it?" to a student, oh jeez that was hilarious XD Later that lesson he decided to share with us how much he drank in University, he told us all you do is drink away, I bet he's lying—or over exagerting—just to try and get us to try harder to make it to Uni', that's a good thing, but still, you can't just say you drank a lot.

The last paragraph was kinda offtopic, but I haven't really got many friends to share it with anyway...