LOCAL NEWS

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

Top Stories

Local News

...
Debbie Worthen

Father outraged over ‘lack of security’ at high school

A father in Granite School District is outraged over what he calls a “lack of security” at Olympus High School.
22 hours ago
...
Angie Denison

I AM The Journey Features Artists from Many Backgrounds

In January 2020, the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts announced a new program of grants for artists and scholars from diverse communities.
22 hours ago
Courtney Hillburn, models the swimsuit just one month after her double mastectomy....
Shelby Lofton

Utah clothing company creates swimwear for breast cancer survivors

Breast cancer survivors and sisters from Utah will launch a swimwear line for women who have had surgery.
22 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (KSL TV)...
Larry D. Curtis and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Investigators say former Utah County therapist is ‘threat to children’ for ‘egregious crimes’

Former therapist David Lee Hamblin, 68, was said to be "a threat to the children and citizens of Utah County" in court documents that also request he be held without bail for "egregious crimes against a child."
22 hours ago
David and Bonnie Kenison talk about their volunteer work with the Red Cross in Crescent City, Flori...
Jed Boal

Orem couple volunteers for Red Cross in path of Hurricane Ian

A married couple from Orem is in Florida right now among the trained disaster volunteers from the Red Cross of Utah. They’re already helping out in an evacuation shelter as Hurricane Ian closes in.
22 hours ago
Emergency lights...
Michael Houck

Santa Clara police arrest man for fraud, find drug lab during arrest

A man in Washington County is facing multiple felony charges after police found a "portable lab" during a fraud arrest Monday.  
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
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.
New App Gives Utahns With Allergies Hourly Pollen Updates