Vitesy: Improving Indoor Air Quality with IoT Enabled Air Purifiers

According to the World Health Organization, indoor air quality is up to five times worse than outdoor air quality.

Vitesy, an Italian startup, is on a mission to fix that problem. Their IoT-enabled air purifiers augment the natural purifying power of plants with an innovative filtration system to eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxins from the air.

Magnifying Plant Power

Through a natural process called phytoremediation, plants can be used to clean up contaminants in soils, water or air. Housed in the base of a potted plant, Vitesy’s filtration system amplifies this natural power to eliminate 93% of VOCs and 99% of bacteria, viruses, particulate and odors from indoor air.

Vitesy’s newest product, Natede, is equipped with a washable photocatalytic filter covered with titanium dioxide. When light strikes the titanium dioxide on the filter, it activates a chemical process that decomposes organic matter such as VOCs, viruses, odors and bacteria at the molecular level.

A close up of a plant.

“We wanted to use natural means to create a solution for indoor pollution, and we wanted to take the product a step further — to put actionable data in our customers’ hands.”

Marco Santonocito, Chief Technology Officer, Vitesy

Delivering Data

The Natede app displays information on temperature, humidity, pollutants (VOCs), fine particulates (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO) and alerts customers when air quality worsens rapidly. Natede can also connect and interact with other smart home devices. Sensors inside Natede’s air filtration system continuously monitor the room’s air quality, and users can access that data through a smartphone app and Wi-Fi connection.

Because Wi-Fi-based IoT connectivity is an essential piece of Vitesy’s value proposition, the company had particular requirements in its search for a solution.

Customers can use the app to control their air purifier remotely — for example, they can turn it on to clean the air before they arrive home from work or program it to run during certain hours of the day or night.

A woman is holding a smart phone in front of a plant.

“To be successful, we knew that we needed a solid, flexible, low-cost connectivity solution.”

Marco Santonocito, Chief Technology Officer, Vitesy

Worldwide Interoperability

Vitesy caters to markets in both Europe and the United States, so they looked for a connectivity module that could support regional network standards and communication protocols for embedded solutions around the world, including UART, SPI, 12C and SDIO.

“That interoperability is really important to us. It means we can manufacture a single product that will perform well for our customers, no matter where they live.”

Marco Santonocito, Chief Technology Officer, Vitesy

Choosing the Right Partners

To achieve their goals, Vitesy wanted technology partners who could support their needs for dependable connectivity, worldwide interoperability and effective sensor hardware. They brought on 221e, an Italian company that designs low-power IoT sensors, to develop their embedded technology unit.

To support Wi-Fi connectivity, Vitesy selected Telit’s GS2200MIZ module. The GS2200M modules are tiny and mighty — ultralow-power, ultra-secure and ultra-compact, created to simplify the integration of Wi-Fi connectivity into product designs.

“This module has all the functions we needed to build the most advanced natural air purifier on the market. We’re thrilled with the results.”

Marco Santonocito, Chief Technology Officer, Vitesy

Rapid Scalability

Formed as a startup in 2016, Vitesy launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their first air purifier and raised $250,000 USD to launch the business.

In 2018, they ran a second Kickstarter campaign for the Natede product that raised an impressive $1 million USD. It was an unprecedented success, and they moved into production with the support of more than 3,800 backers. Today, the company is shipping products and fostering rapid growth.

Telit’s design support team can be instrumental in helping IoT deployments from any size company succeed. Offering schematics review, PCB layout review, component placement counseling and more, Telit understands how complex IoT can be and is happy to lend a hand.

“We needed to be agile with our implementation. For a startup, speed is crucial because you want to be able to scale quickly.”

Marco Santonocito, Chief Technology Officer, Vitesy

Integrating with AWS

Vitesy is building its software on Amazon Web Services using a serverless architecture that allows them to be more scalable, flexible and quick to market. Because its products are AWS integrated, customers have the ability to connect and control their air purifiers using other smart home devices like Amazon Alexa.

A white potted plant sits on a shelf next to a record player.

“Implementation and interconnection are quick and easy, right out of the box. One of our priorities was to create a user-friendly product, and Telit’s module has helped us do that.”

Marco Santonocito, Chief Technology Officer, Vitesy


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