Device Promises More Immediate Pollen Information

May 13, 2019, 6:13 PM | Updated: May 14, 2019, 6:31 pm

PROVO, Utah — Today is a rough day for spring pollen sufferers in Utah. You may wonder where and when is the pollen the worst — and is it tree pollen, or grass pollen?

A startup in Provo invented a device to measure the pollen in the air, answer those questions and report it near real-time.

“With real-time data, you can actually track the patterns of the pollen release of the day, and you can pick up when the pollen is the lowest,” said Landon Bunderson, one of four Pollen Sense company founders.

Bunderson is an aerobiologist who has made pollen his life’s study, in part, because pollen has made his nose itch.

“Allergic rhinitis,” he said. “My sinuses get socked in.”

On the worst days, he gets headaches, and swollen and itchy eyes.

“A lot of people know what I’m talking about,” he said with a laugh.

So, he co-founded Pollen Sense in Provo and created a device to collect real-time data on specific allergens wafting in the air.

“This idea came out of necessity,” he said.

The Pollen Sense device draws in air, identifies all of the particles in the air and reports them.

“You can get an hourly count on what’s going on right now,” said Bunderson. “That’s cool, and that’s completely different than anything out there right now.”

The data is plotted on a graph, and will eventually feed to an app still in development.

“We’re getting ready to launch that roughly middle of the summer,” said Nathan Allan, Pollen Sense Co-founder and Software Architect.

Today, they just don’t have a large enough network for people to access. They need to build a network of sensors that would provide meaningful information for enough people.

“Right now, we are building out that network,” said Allan. “We’re building devices.”

They’re building a network of the pollen sensors that cost $8,000 each. They expect to be able to bring the price down in the coming years.

Right now, their customers are hospitals, municipalities, school districts and researchers, across the country and in Europe.

Bunderson says it’s as accurate as any device out there, and gives him the kind of information he needs to make decisions about playing outside.

“I can track it, and I can reduce my exposure to pollen,” he said.

So, Bunderson knows when he can roll down the windows on his car and not have a pollen attack.

“With this device, I can go on the app, I can look it up and I can see what is the level right now? If there’s no pollen, I can roll the windows down.”

Pollen Sense started their work five years ago, and picked up a $36,000 USTAR grant from the state to continue their development work.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Salt Lake City police responding to a shooting at the Downtown West apartment complex. (SLC PD)...
Michael Houck & Lauren Steinbrecher

One person in critical condition after shooting at Salt Lake City apartment complex

Salt Lake City police are investigating a shooting with several people detained Sunday evening. 
1 day ago
Layton police responding to a barricaded suspect in an apartment building. (Courtesy: Phoenix Antho...
Michael Houck

SWAT arrest fugitive who hid in an Layton apartment complex

A wanted fugitive is in police custody after hiding out in a Layton apartment complex Sunday afternoon.
1 day ago
Guest Haus, one of the six businesses, taking part of the recycling pilot program....
Shelby Lofton

Park City introduces reusable food container pilot program

Tossed food take-out containers could be a thing of the past for Park City as it's launching a pilot program that reimagines the doggie bag.
1 day ago
The three car crash, causing roads to be blocked on SR-36. (Courtesy: Colleen Shuman)...
Michael Houck

Three vehicle crash closes portion of SR-36, one person flown to hospital

One person has serious injuries after a crash caused a trailer to flip and strike another vehicle Sunday afternoon.
1 day ago
Wildlife officials responding to the cougar incident....
Michael Houck & Lauren Steinbrecher

Trail runner hurt by cougar in Millcreek Canyon, DWR found and euthanized the animal

A runner was hurt by a cougar after accidentally into it on a trail in Millcreek Canyon.
1 day ago
Paraglider crashed into mountain and was hoisted to the U of U in critical condition....
Brooke Williams

Life Flight responds to critical condition paragliding crash up Olympus Cove Sunday

Paraglider crashed into mountain and was hoisted by Life Flight to the U of U in critical condition.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Device Promises More Immediate Pollen Information