06 July 2009

Electrosmog 2.0 unleashed

Why does this woman have such a great smile ? Because she's chatting up with friends on Facebook all day long from her office through a Wifi hotspot connection while answering one of the many GSM calls from her lovers ? Most likely. Or maybe it is just a side-effect of her exposure to the electrical field generated by the wireless devices she is using ? Who knows ?

There has been a massive worldwide adoption of wireless communications technology over the past decade and this is an ongoing trend -note that neither the telecom crisis in 2000 nor the financial crisis in 2007 had any impact on the ever growing user base of mobile operators (a very profitable business). As a result, the urban environment we live in is often saturated with electromagnetic waves. This is called the electrosmog.

Measuring accurately the electrosmog is not an easy task: it requires the use of expensive devices as well as following a measurement protocol. However, providing an approximative measure is possible with affordable electronic parts and good engineering -the main innovation shown below actually lies in the use of a shoe box as packaging material... not so stylish but at least 100% recyclable! ;)

Such a device is useful if you want to have a rough idea of your unwanted exposure to electrosmog. How much exposed am I in my bedroom where I spend 10 hours a day ? (OK I'm a lazy guy;) ? How far is this $500000 house from a telecom mast ? What if I stand near people using wireless devices ?

All of the questions above require instantaneous recurrent measures to get answered, and these can only be delivered by a personal electrosmog meter. Such devices already exist, but in my opinion their price and features can be much improved for the consumer market.

Below are a few snapshots of the data output provided by my low cost device which provides both average electrical field density in Volt per meter and peak statistics for the GSM/DECT, UMTS and Wireless LAN frequency bands.