What is the goal of ElectroSmart?
ElectroSmart is a crowd-based measuring application for Android devices that reports your exposition to electromagnetic waves generated by connected devices such as Bluetooth devices, or communication infrastructures such as cellular antennas or Wi-Fi access points.
Why should I care?
Sources of electromagnetic waves are everywhere from the cellular network to your Wi-Fi access point. Authorities and scientists recommend to reduce the exposition to electromagnetic waves in particular for children.
How ElectroSmart will help?
With ElectroSmart you know how much you are exposed by each source of electromagnetic waves. Therefore, you are well informed on your exposition and can take simple actions to reduce your exposition.
How does ElectroSmart work?
ElectroSmart is a mobile application running on any Android device that measures, collects, and displays your real time exposition. You can also access your history as the app is running in the background and is periodically collecting your exposition. ElectroSmart collects anonymously your exposition for all the wireless technologies on your device (GSM, CDMA, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.)
Why does ElectroSmart ask for location permission?
There are two reasons for that. The first one is related to the Android platform and its security policy. For an application, to be able to perform Wi-Fi scans, Android requires the location permission. The reason being is that having access to information about your surrounding Wi-Fi access points can lead to a location estimate. Secondly, the measurements performed by ElectroSmart cannot be entirely useful unless they are linked to a geographical location.
Please note that we do not retrieve any personal information. Therefore, there is no way for us to link the measurements collected through your smartphone to your personal identity.
What is the meaning of dBm and what is e-score?
dBm is a unit of power corresponding to milliwatts on a logarithmic scale. A milliwatt corresponds to 0 dBm and each time you subtract 10 dBm, you divide by 10 the amount of milliwatts. For instance, -10 dBm corresponds to 0.1 mW, -20 dBm to 0.01 mW, -30 dBm to 1 microwatt, -60 dBm to 1 nanowatt, -90 dBm to 1 picowatt, and -120 dBm to 1 femtowatt.
The negative logarithmic scale can be difficult to understand and interpret. So, we devised a simple and intuitive unit called the e-score. The e-score or the exposition score is a positive number which when increases by one, your exposure is doubled and vice versa. An e-score of 0 is equivalent to an exposition of -140 dBm or less.
What do the different colors in the app mean?
The app comes with three color themes:
Red orange green (ROG)
Except for the dark blue theme (where the app appears in a single dark blue color), the colors of the app signify your exposition levels.
We have classified the exposition into the following three levels:
High: the signal power is higher than -40 dBm (e-score: 33)
Medium: the signal power is between -40 dBm (e-score: 33) and -75 dBm (e-score: 21)
Low: the signal power is lower than -75 dBm (e-score: 21)
Significance of colors:
In Progressive blue theme: Darker the blue, higher is your exposition
In ROG theme: Green represents the low; orange the medium and red the high levels of exposition
In Dark blue theme: The color is uniform without any distinction amongst the various levels of exposition
However, the levels we defined do not correspond to any level of harmfulness, because such levels are unknown. Instead, our levels correspond to common sense and are here to help you take savvy decisions. For instance, your exposure is high if you are very close to a source, medium is you are at a reasonable distance, and low when you are far away. Of course, inside buildings, your level of exposure can decrease very fast with the distance to the source. As we measure the power of the signal where you are, you only have the values that matter to adapt your environment.
Is there any e-score value that can be considered safe?
Considering the absence of scientific data in this context, we cannot claim that there is a value that is guaranteed to be safe. However, we can provide some relevant recommendations.
An e-score value of 30 corresponds to an exposure caused by a Wi-Fi access point 5 meters away and an e-score of 20 from 20 meters away. We can then consider that an e-score less than or equal to 20 as weak and between 20 and 30 as medium. We consider it to be reasonable to position your Wi-Fi access point in such way that its exposure value is less than or equal to 35 e-score.