New App Gives Utahns With Allergies Hourly Pollen Updates

Sep 25, 2019, 7:31 PM | Updated: 8:34 pm

PROVO, Utah – A new app is allowing allergy sufferers across the Wasatch Front to check on pollens and allergens with live, hourly updates.

The brains and noses behind the app, Pollen Sense, have been working on pollen sensors in Provo for the past five years.

“I’m a bit of a connoisseur of allergens,“ said Landon Bunderson, aerobiologist and an allergy sufferer.

He and software developer Nathan Allan co-founded Pollen Sense five years ago with two other founders.

They invented a pollen sensor that can identify more than two-dozen plants today, and they expect it will be able to identify 100 by next spring. They developed the Pollen Wise app that gives hourly pollen updates and shows trends for the overall pollen count, and specific problem plants.

A network of those sensors has already spread across the state.

“We’re pretty well covered here in Utah,” Allan said.

There are also sensors located across the country and the company wants to expand coverage to every major city this winter. They also have sensors in Europe and one in Australia, with growing interest there.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Bunderson said. “Now, I don’t have to log in on the computer and go through the data. I can actually just pull up my app, first thing in the morning or last thing at night and see what’s in the air. For me that’s amazing.”

Even if you’ve been tracking pollen for years, this app will help you learn more about the pollens that are problematic for you.

“You can know specifically ragweed is in the air right now, or earlier today, we had a little reprieve, so I can go outside for a while,” Allan said.

Until now, available pollen counts were 24 hours old and covered the whole day, rather than the hourly information Pollen Sense shows.

“Today might be really low as far as cottonwood, but tomorrow, all of a sudden it’s a huge day,” Allan said. “Knowing that is really useful if you’re allergic.”

Before the sensors were developed, pollen had to be counted manually on a microscope slide.

“What we basically did was automate that process,” Allan said.

They replaced the human counter with a computer using machine vision and artificial intelligence to recognize the different types of particulates.

“Now it’s a completely cloud-based solution,” Allan said.

The Pollen Wise app is currently free on the App Store. Right now, the sensors retail for $8,000, but the company expects to be able to lower that price. So far, governments and researchers have purchased the senors.

“Eventually, we will have a consumer version that you can put in your backyard,” Allan said.

“I’m giddy over it,” Bunderson said. “My favorite thing to do is open the window at night.”

But, if pollen is high, he suffers the next day. Now he checks the Pollen Wise app before he goes to bed.

“If it’s low, the windows come open,” Bunderson said. “If it’s high, the windows stay closed. For me, that’s amazing.”

If you’re an allergy sufferer, go to the App Store and download the Pollen Wise app. The Android version of the app has the latest update; developers said the Apple version will have that same update soon.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(Brianna Chavez, KSL TV)...

Josh Ellis

Downed power lines blocking 2600 South near US 89 in Davis County after crash

Crews have closed 2600 South near U.S. Highway 89 following a three-car crash that downed some power lines in the area.

35 minutes ago

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks during the Sa...

Josh Ellis

President Russell M. Nelson not attending general conference due to fall, injured back

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not be able to physically attend this weekend's general conference after he fell and injured his lower back.

1 hour ago

(Utah Highway Patrol)...

Josh Ellis

One dead, several injured in head-on crash in Kane County

One person was killed while six others were injured -- including two critically -- after a pickup truck and SUV crashed in southern Utah on Tuesday.

2 hours ago

woman stands at podium at Utah State Capitol...

Lindsay Aerts and Larry D. Curtis

‘These allegations are true,’ say former OUR employees about Tim Ballard

An attorney representing a group wanting to make a public statement about Operation Underground Railroad read a statement Thursday morning.

3 hours ago

Weber High School file photo...

Josh Ellis

Weber High principal retires as Weber School District finishes investigation into complaints

Weber High School Principal Chris Earnest has announced her retirement as the Weber School District concluded an investigation into complaints involving Earnest.

4 hours ago

A South Jordan man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday to 15 years in federal prison for offer...

Gabrielle Shiozawa, KSL.com

South Jordan man sentenced to 15 years for paying minors $30K for nudes

A South Jordan man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday to 15 years in federal prison for offering approximately 200 Utah girls money for nude photos, and then paying tens of thousands to 27 girls who agreed.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

New App Gives Utahns With Allergies Hourly Pollen Updates