BreezoMeter, which powers air quality in Apple’s Weather app, launches Wildfire Tracker – TechCrunch

BreezoMeter is on a mission making environmental health hazards more accessible to as many people possible. The company, which is based in Israel, can now determine the quality of the air by using its air quality index (AQI). This allows them to identify air quality down to a few meters across dozens of countries. Apple has partnered with the company to integrate its data into the iOS Weather app. The API product allows companies access to its dataset to their own purposes.
The company's new Wildfire Tracker product is expanding its product line from air quality to the real-time detection and monitoring of wildfire perimeters, just weeks after a $30 million Series C round.

This new product will use the company's fusion data of satellite imagery, sensor data, and local eyewitness reports in order to detect wildfire edges in real time. Ran Korber, the CEO and co-founder of BreezoMeter, stated that people expect accurate wildfire information as much as they do weather or humidity data. It can have an immediate impact on their lives, he said. BreezoMeter hopes to help connect the dots between climate technology and human health.

Red polygonal boundaries will indicate fire danger zones. As always, data on air quality will also be available in these areas and the surrounding areas.

Korber stressed that it was not easy to get these perimeters right across many countries. In forests, where wildfires are a common occurrence, sensors can be difficult to locate. Satellite data that focuses only on thermal imaging can be tricked. Korber stated that false positives are common when you're trying to find abnormalities. Korber gave the example of a large array of solar panels that can appear very hot using thermal sensors, but isn't actually a fire.

Consumers can access the identified fire perimeters free of charge on BreezoMeters' air quality map website. They will also be available in the company's apps. These perimeters will also be available via the company's APIs to commercial customers later this year. Korber hopes that the API endpoints will allow car manufacturers, such as Korber, to warn drivers when they are near a conflagration.

This new feature is a continuation of BreezoMeters' long-term expansion of its product. Korber stated that when we first started it was only air quality. It could only forecast Israeli air pollution. We have expanded our product portfolio to include new environmental hazards almost every year since then. Korber cited the 2018 addition of pollen and the global nature of the app.

VC investors are increasingly interested in wildfire detection. Cornea, for example, is a startup that helps firefighters to identify and reduce blazes. Perimeter, on the other hand, wants to help determine wildfire boundaries and provide evacuation instructions with maps. Expect more investments and products in this area as Silicon Valley's home state of California, and the rest of the globe become increasingly a hotbed for fires.