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It’s that time of year again when we are all being constantly bombarded with ways to improve our homes, our bodies and our minds. But what if I told you, that thanks to one award-winning piece of Danish design, your everyday health could be instantly better?
Created by childhood friends Andreas Kofoed Sørensen and Hans Høite Augustenborg, Birdie is a playful home accessory with a serious side, because this simple and super cute looking device is an air quality monitor.
Cleverly created to visually encourage you to take action, but without the use of distracting sounds, digital displays, or apps, Birdie lets you know when to ventilate your home, helping to keep you and your family healthier, and indeed happier.
Over to Andreas and Hans to tell us more:
Shall we start with the Birdie backstory and what the driving force behind it was?
Andreas: It’s crazy really but humans spend 90% of their lives indoors and a huge, but invisible health problem related to this habit is air quality. Hans realised that a solution was needed, and drawing on his experience in advertising and communications, came to think of how back in the day mine workers used a canary to detect toxic air in the coalmine. When the bird fainted, it was time to get out. And from this story his idea was born.
How did two childhood friends then turn this incredible idea into a reality?
Hans: Thankfully when I called Andreas to ask if he wanted to start a bird-company he said yes. But we soon realised how expensive it was to develop, manufacture and distribute a new tech product, even though it doesn’t look like one. So, on 5th April 2022 we launched a crowdfunding campaign to literally get Birdie off the ground and in 30 days raised almost $500.000.
Andreas: We were blown away by the support we received from thousands of customers in more than 63 countries around the world, and what began as a hobby-project, quickly turned into a full-time job as we not only raised enough money to fulfil the orders of every backer but enough to market Birdie as a standalone product for everyone to benefit from.
When it comes to the final design you’ve taken a completely analogue approach, why was this?
Hans: For us intuitive design is all about keeping things simple. Unlike other air quality monitors Birdie prompts its users into action without overwhelming them. Made from 100% recycled plastic it also looks appealing too and is easy to understand and engage with. There’s no noise, lights or tweets emitted, just a straightforward visual cue.
What would be your top tips for using Birdie, and how can we all improve the air quality in our homes?
Andreas: Your home needs to breathe so you can breathe, and regardless of the time of year health authorities recommend you ventilate your living space for five to ten minutes, two to three times a day. By cracking open a window not only reduces your risk of illness, but studies have shown that it can also improve concentration, cognitive performance and productivity, as well as aid sleep and reduce a range of respiratory disorders.
Hans: To get the most out of your Birdie, one Birdie should be enough to cover a room up to 100m², we recommend you install it where you spend the most time. Its easy to hang as it comes with a wall-mount and the integrated USB charged battery is designed to last up to eight months of regular use.
Andreas: Our little Birdie will do the rest, when it swivels round on its perch and plays dead it means the level of CO2 in the room has been higher than 1,000 ppm for over ten minutes. But, as soon as the CO2 levels drop below 800 ppm again it will miraculously come back to life letting you know you can close the window.
How will birdie continue to develop, what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
Hans: We really believe we’ve made a product that will last as well as make a difference for a very long time. That said, we are always experimenting and have already successfully teamed up with WWF Denmark on a limited edition ‘X-tinct Birdie’ where 20% of the sales were donated to protecting endangered bird species and wildlife habitats around the world.
Andreas: All I will say is watch this space look out for us — I promise we have good stuff in the pipeline.
Many thanks to Andreas and Hans for taking the time to talk with me and I look forward to seeing more from Birdie soon.
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Want to know more?
To find out more about everything we’ve chatted about and to buy a Birdie for yourself, visit the Birdie website.
Birdie retails at £170 with free shipping worldwide.
Thanks again to Fresh Air Company ApS for collaborating with me on this post.
All images courtesy of Birdie.
Like this post? Then why not read my chat with Sofie Refer the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Danish lighting brand NUURA.