Reward cleaner air with free public Wi-Fi Internet

In Amsterdam, a start-up is testing out a new air pollution monitoring device that triggers on to provide free and secure Internet service. The trigger for these “TreeWiFi” birdhouses: improvements in local air quality. That concept is ingenious, as it promotes clean air by directly tying it to the different but also highly valued good of free and public Internet access.


These “TreeWiFi” birdhouses show the level of air pollution—and also reward improvements in air quality by triggering on free and secure Wi-Fi Internet.

The website PSFK explains in detail here:

Free public Wi-Fi is often looked at with suspicion since it either requires dealing with slow speed or an exchange for personal information. But free and secure Wi-Fi is now available as long as people are willing to help improve the air quality of the area, thanks to TreeWiFi.

Developed by designer Joris Lam, these monitoring birdhouses provide several different services: it collects data on the local air that is uploaded to a central server, it indicates air quality to the public using LED lights, and when the air is clean, opens up the local server for free Wi-Fi. This way, people are not only given up-to-date information on the state of their air but also directly benefit from it. Raising awareness for the issue of air pollution is not the only pro of this model—it is also more cost efficient than most monitoring stations.

For more information, check out the TreeWiFi website and the 30-second introductory video by the device’s designer, Jorge Lam.