AIRMove Team Wins London Tech Week Hackathon with Air Pollution Tool - Dispatch Weekly

June 16, 2017 - Reading time: 4 minutes

Following the HackXLR8 event, which took place over two days during London’s Tech Week TechXLR8 event, AIRMove walks away having earned 1st prize.

The AIRMove team, consisting of members Frank Vitetta (Founder), Alessandro Francia (developer) and Rob Finean (hardware engineer), worked to develop a cost effective IOT device that would allow cities to cheaply collect and store air quality data against locations by crowdsourcing the air pollution detectors.

How Did The Win Come About?

Motivated by the hackathon's theme of "Smart Living" across homes, transportation, and cities, Frank Vitetta saw an opportunity to create positive change. Drawing on his experience as co-founder of modoola, a smart office furniture company, Frank pitched an idea addressing the critical issue of pollution.

He knew a solution to combat pollution would resonate widely. While many citizens recognize the concerning impacts of pollution, few have made meaningful progress to create change. Staggering research from the Royal College of Physicians shows air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths per year in the UK, with 9,000 occurring in London alone.

Frank's idea gained traction, leading hardware engineer Finean to join his team. Having won four previous hackathons in Italy, Finean brought invaluable experience creating health-focused hardware for London startups. The complementary skills between this ambitious founder and a serial hackathon winner paved the way for a promising partnership.

AIRMove’s Prototype

The AIRMove team developed an affordable, scalable solution for air quality monitoring. While sensors presently exist, high costs and maintenance limitations restrict their adoption - leaving cities data-deprived on pollution levels. 

This disruptive model also outpaces existing options in collecting more expansive, actionable data. AIRMove devices track four different pollutants - NO2, PM10 and PM2.5 - eclipsing the capabilities of more expensive equipment. Furthermore, AIRMove's flexibility enables diverse deployment possibilities, from bikes to buses, light posts to landmarks. By untethering air quality measurement from fixed locations, AIRMove furnishes previously unattainable pollution insights for entire neighborhoods.

Withinnenovative, budget-friendly platform powered by data breadth and accessibility, AIRMove spearheads the democratization of pollution monitoring. Cities can affordably understand air toxicity block-by-block, crafting targeted policies for cleaner living. Ultimately, AIRMove's potential for scale promises a future where communities collectively monitor and minimize their environmental footprints.


AIRMove wants to inform citizens about air quality in certain areas at that given time, allowing people to determine the least polluted (and safest) way to get to work. The data will be logged into the cloud and will be made available for commercial purposes. For instance property search engines could use the information to provide air quality statistics in the same way they currently provide information on crime rate and school rankings.

Where to Go From Here?

Following the success that the AIRMove team had at HackXLR8, the AIRMove team prepares to take things to the next level. Vitetta says that “We would like to pitch idea to Mayor of London and Transportation for London to see if they are interested to take the idea further.” With the mayor and TLF’s support, AIRMove would be able to advance to the next steps in bringing their idea to reality.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.