Brizi Baby is a cushioned headrest for a baby's pushchair with in-built sensors and a fan filter system that cuts the amount of pollution around the child's head. Matthew Stock reports.
For parents raising children in urban environments, the quality of air their little ones breathe can be a big concern. But Brizi Baby hopes to cut the amount of air pollution they're exposed to while in a pushchair. It was invented by Yosi Romano who was concerned for his own daughter's health. SOUNDBITE (English) YOSI ROMANO, FOUNDER OF BRIZI, SAYING: "When Alma my daughter was born I took her in her pram on Finchley Road, one of the most polluted streets in London. And I realised that her pram puts her at the same height of the tail-pipe of the buses." Vehicle pollution is more concentrated about 2 feet off the ground; the same height as infants in strollers. When Brizi's sensors detect gases or particulate matter it triggers a dual-fan unit to filter the air. The patented filter system creates a clean air barrier, delivering 1.5 litres of clean, filtered air to the child's breathing area every ten seconds. SOUNDBITE (English) YOSI ROMANO, FOUNDER OF BRIZI, SAYING: "We wanted a product that will be easy to use an autonomous for the mum, and that's one challenge. We wanted a product that does what it says on the box; filter the air in the baby breathing area. The challenges in the beginning were to design it so that the air flow will sustain a clean air cloud in the breathing area of the baby. Tests by scientists from the University of Surrey found in more polluted areas - such as near an idling vehicle - Brizi Baby reduces pollution by up to 80 percent. Brizi recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to turn their prototype into a consumer model. It includes a smartphone app and portable Brizi Sensor that creates a shared heat-map of the more polluted areas to avoid. Recent studies have linked infants exposed to higher levels of vehicle air pollution with lung problems later on in life. Romano hopes Brizi will help babies, as well as their parents, breathe a little easier.