A pocket air quality monitoring sensor offered by Captothèque, Source: Ville de Grenoble on Facebook

These cute pocket devices measure air quality in French cities

These cute pocket devices measure air quality in French cities

You can get one of them for free in some of the large cities

As lockdowns are gradually being lifted, many drivers are getting back behind the wheel, thereby worsening the quality of air in cities. Moreover, in some countries heavily dependent on hard fuel for heating, the lowering of temperatures is associated with increased levels of air pollution.

The last couple of weeks have thus reminded us how important ит is to preserve air quality and respectively – to be aware of how good the air we breathe is. For all citizens curious to learn this on their own, a French service offers a convenient, attractive and free solution called Captothèque.

It has never been easier to monitor air quality

The Captothèque is a citizen air quality measurement service offered by the observatory for air quality of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the second most populated in France and 10th in Europe, with over 8 million inhabitants. The service allows everyone to explore the quality of the air with a simple pocket device.

Said device is furnished with a micro-sensor, which measures the concentration of fine particles in real-time. The PM1, PM 2,5 or PM10 particles can enter the body and affect health by causing irritation or damage to the respiratory tract and functions.

The system works with Bluetooth and transfers data to one’s smartphone on a special mobile app. The application then allows to collect, visualize and share data with the community online.

The sensor weighs 140 grams and is the size of a mobile phone, which makes it particularly easy to use near one’s home, on the road, or close to industrial areas.

The microsensor can be borrowed free of charge in several territories which are partners of the initiative. The objective of Captothèque is to put the citizens centre stage in the observation of air quality and to better understand, create and improve knowledge on the subject.

The website of the service informs that over 2800 users have already borrowed a smart sensor to measure air quality. At the moment, it can be done in the metropolises of Grenoble-Alpes, Lyon and Clermont Auvergne.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU