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Real-Time Air Quality Monitoring

Elm is PerkinElmer’s innovative air monitoring service, which provides local air quality analysis for individuals, smart cities, and sustainable communities.

Elm website on a desktop computer


One of PerkinElmer’s newest missions is to help governments and other organizations understand their local environments and most difficult air pollution challenges, using the most sophisticated air monitoring systems and methods available. Cantina was hired to help deliver a new brand, visual direction, and responsive web interface for a new IoT device.

The Elm network contains devices with multiple air monitoring sensors. The units are placed outdoors where individuals can benefit from real-time air quality information, such as in industrial areas, neighborhoods, parks, and schools. The sensors measure patterns of seven air quality indicators, including ozone, particulates (soil or dust materials) and nitrogen dioxide. Each device connects to the secure Elm data network to send readings from the sensors every 20 seconds, enabling customers to view up-to-the-minute air quality conditions.

Map of Boston with Elm dashboard


After the acquisition of a multisensory monitoring company, PerkinElmer had the opportunity to build an air quality monitoring network that would help people better understand the long-term impact on their health. This was an entirely new product area and target market for the company, and it required the development of both a software platform and brand assets. Additionally, it introduced the challenge of building a direct-to-consumer interface for air quality information.

Elm logos
Logo designs for the Elm brand.


Cantina worked with PerkinElmer on both aspects of the project: understanding the technical requirements of building a software platform to support the monitoring network and creating a brand and marketing site to sell the product. PerkinElmer chose Cantina because of the team’s creativity, technical insights, and experience with user-centered design.

To meet customer needs, Cantina designed an easy-to-use, highly visual platform to provide a single dashboard view of relevant sensor data. We built a system architecture capable of dealing with large amounts of disparate data from the sensor network and quickly incorporating it into the platform. The project also required a branding exercise to help the PerkinElmer team understand the product’s key messaging, resulting in the creation of the Elm brand and an entirely new look and feel for the product website.


Cantina’s agile development process, technical architecture experience, and fast iteration methods provided a scalable solution that delivered the product on time for a major industry trade show.


If you are interested in learning more about this engagement or how Cantina can help you with a project contact us today. We'd love to help.

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