AccuWeather acquires air pollution startup Plume Labs

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AccuWeather, a weather forecasting business, has agreed to acquire French startup Plume Labs on terms that have not been revealed. Plume Labs, which was launched in 2014, has steadily grown its product offering to include three separate products that are focused on air pollution data, all of which are free.

First and foremost, the business released a mobile application for iOS and Android devices that provides information regarding air quality. At initially, it was only a basic tool for predicting air pollution levels at the city level. The organization would compile information from a variety of sources in order to forecast how pollution will change over time.

Plume Labs has improved its forecasting skills over time, and it is now able to anticipate air quality for the next few of days. Plue Labs makes forecasts using machine learning models, which are developed by the company. It now provides comprehensive maps with street-by-street information as well as a search function. If you’re riding a bike or a moped to work, you’ll be aware of the areas to avoid if you’re traveling along a busy route.

When it came to air quality monitoring, Plume Labs intended to give its consumers more control by making it visible and interactive. As a result, it developed its own air quality tracker, which communicates with your smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

The instrument, which is in its second iteration, can measure particulate matter (PM1, PM2.5, and PM10) as well as harmful gas emissions (nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic compounds). It has been reasonably effective, as shown by the fact that Plume Labs devices are presently being utilized more often than government-sponsored monitoring stations.

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In the end, Plume Labs began providing air pollution data as an API. The business has gathered data from hundreds of environmental monitoring stations across the globe and used it to train its machine learning model. Customers of Plume Labs will have a leg up on the competition if they decide to include air quality data into their goods. Instead of having to deal with several data sources, they may consolidate various data sets into a single piece of information. Similarly, they are not required to devote resources to the application of machine learning to air pollution.

AccuWeather began using Plume Labs’ data in its weather forecasting products in January 2020, according to the company. Plume Labs is a weather forecasting firm that took advantage of the chance to invest in the company. The business is now taking things a step further by purchasing the remaining assets of AccuWeather.

This purchase will enable AccuWeather to give users and customers with an even more customized experience as well as a 360-degree awareness of the influence of weather on their health, according to AccuWeather president Steven R. Smith in a statement. With this new strategic direction, we are even more committed to our goal of helping our users take greater control of their health. “Our exclusive alliance delivered on the promise to help them take greater control of their health, and we are even more committed to that goal with this new strategic direction.”

Specifically, Plume Labs will serve as AccuWeather’s primary data center for climate and environmental data. Clearly, air pollution is becoming an important performance indicator for many sectors, as shown by this purchase.

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“Seven years ago, David Lissmyr and I founded Plume Labs with the goal of making air quality information available to everyone,” stated Romain Lacombe, co-founder and CEO of Plume Labs. “Since then, our work has contributed to galvanizing the struggle for clean air by bringing the health consequences of climate change into the forefront of public debate. Joining together with AccuWeather at this time is an exceptional potential to magnify our effect on a global scale and assist 1.5 billion people across the globe in avoiding air pollution.”

The Plume Labs team and technology will continue to function and extend their work to include additional environmental dangers, such as wildfires, in the coming months and years. Although climate risk forecasting is still in its infancy, today’s purchase demonstrates that it will become more relevant as time progresses.

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