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Anne Schneider - 26/09/2016

ElectroSmart : measure your rate of exposure to electromagnetic waves on the spot

In today's world, the impact of the electromagnetic waves emitted by mobile phones, Wi-Fi radio waves and Bluetooth technology is a significant public health issue.

But how can we objectively measure our exposure and, based on our own specific sensitivity to the proliferation of emission sources, take the necessary steps to protect ourselves?

The answer lies in ElectroSmart, a new application developed for Android by a team led by Arnaud Legout, an Inria researcher in the DIANA project-team at Inria Sophia Antipolis-Méditerranée.

What's ElectroSmart ?

ElectroSmart is a research project aimed at enabling users to accurately measure their exposure to the waves present in their immediate surroundings.

The team behind this project believes that it is important for each of our fellow citizens to be informed of their exposure to electromagnetic power, since electromagnetic waves are invisible and hard to measure by anyone without a solid technical grounding. ElectroSmart can also be a useful tool for measuring variations in individuals' sensitivity, given that people react differently in identical conditions of exposure.

With the free ElectroSmart app - downloadable directly from Google Play - it is easy to check the degree to which we are exposed and see the various sources of exposure. For instance, the biggest sources of exposure are often our own devices in the home, which can easily be moved or disabled when not in use.

The more people use the application, the better we will understand the problem of exposure to electromagnetic waves.

What's the point?

Electromagnetic waves are everywhere, from the mobile phone network (GSM-3G, LTE, etc.) to your Wi-Fi access point or your connected devices.

Regulatory authorities and scientists recommend that we reduce our exposure to electromagnetic waves, the long-term effects of which are as yet unknown, and be particularly careful to protect children. With ElectroSmart, users can pinpoint the biggest sources of exposure and either distance themselves or turn the devices off when they are not in use.

How does ElectroSmart work?

The ElectroSmart app developed for Android leverages smartphones' measurement capacities to quantify the exposure to electromagnetic waves, which can become a form of pollution; generated by connected devices such as Bluetooth devices or communication infrastructures such as cellular networks or Wi-Fi access points, it is effectively omnipresent.

The ElectroSmart app is free and works on the crowdsourcing principle (not to be confused with crowdfunding !).

Keywords: Waves EPI Diana 3G LTE Electromagnetic Wi-Fi Inria - Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée Research Centre