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.)
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.
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.
The app comes with three color themes:
- Progressive blue
- Dark blue
- 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.
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.
Cellular networks in the other hand are a bit different. We can still
use the same e-score values as a reference. But we have to pay attention
to the increase in the signal emitted by your smartphone as it detects
that the received signal goes down. In this case, the exposure that
affects you the most would be the one generated by your smartphone. We
recommend using earphones in case the e-score is low. We also suggest
that you turn off your smartphone’s data while your in your pocket or
close to your head (Over the night for example when you put the phone in
a table close to your head).
We use mW, meaning the power received by the antenna of your
smartphone. In order to determine V/m ot W/m2, we need to know the
antenna gain. The gain is different across different brands and models
of smartphones. Which makes it difficult to make the conversions. We are
working on this issue and we will add these units as soon as we have a
solution that is reasonably precise.
By default, ElectroSmart comes with the progressive blue theme with
dark blue for a high exposure, blue for a medium exposure, and light
blue for a low one. However, you can select the "red, orange, green"
theme in the settings of the app.
ElectroSmart can only detect your network provider’s antennas
(although there are some exceptions). Our midterm goal is to have enough
users to be able to combine all collected measurements into one unique
value representing the different antennas.
Nonetheless, it is
possible for ElectroSmart to detect the antenna that exposes you the
most. To do so, you will have to put your smartphone in emergency only
mode. This can be done by removing the SIM card or by rebooting your
phone without typing the PIN code.
ElectroSmart measures radio frequency waves. More precisely microwaves
generated by telecommunication infrastructures and connected object.
ElectroSmart is able to measure electromagnetic waves emitted by 2G
antennas (GSM, EDGE, GPRS, CDMA, etc.), 3G (UMTS, HSPA, etc.) and 4G
(LTE), by Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth devices. However,
ElectroSmart does not measure waves from your microwave oven, waves
generated by powerline current, by connected water meters or electricity
ElectroSmart aims to give you the most accurate view over your
electromagnetic environment. To do so it activates all the existing
antennas in your smartphone when you start the app. It does the same
with Wi-Fi but you might not be able to notice it because usually we can
perform the Wi-Fi scan without turning it on. For Bluetooth there is no
other way to run the scan but to turn it on.
When the application is closed, we restore the antennas to their initial state.
However, when the application performs background measurements (Without
you starting the application) we do not activate Bluetooth.
No, there is no iOS version and we do not plan to implement one in a foreseeable future.
Yes, you can, but you need to know how to install an application, and
you will have to take care of the updates manually. To get the APK,
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electromagnetic waves are part of the human pollution.
They are ubiquitous, whenever you connect to the Internet or make a
phone call, you are using protocols that use electromagnetic waves to
give you connectivity. So you are always exposed to electromagnetic
waves generated by your activity or by the activity of people around
The electromagnetic waves represent a broad spectrum of waves. Communication protocols are using microwaves that are non-ionizing electromagnetic waves,
which means that they were believed to do not create any health hazard
at a low enough emitting power. Indeed, microwaves oven also use
microwaves but at hundreds of watts, which creates a thermal effect used
to heat up foods. Communication protocols emit waves at a power
ranging from tens of watts to milliwatts (one thousand times smaller
than a watt), supposedly low enough to do not create a harmful thermal
effect. However, researches in the last 20 years conclude that beyond a
thermal effect, a sustained exposition to microwaves used in communication protocols may lead to a health hazard.
This might be particularly true for children who are more and more
exposed to electromagnetic waves due to their increasing use of
smartphones and tablets.
The good news is that the power of
electromagnetic waves decreases very fast with the distance to the
source. If ever you know where a source is, you can take simple actions
(such as moving a bed, or switching off a source at night) to
significantly reduce your exposition.
We believe that whatever
the health hazard due to electromagnetic waves, you have the right to be
informed on your exposition. However, as electromagnetic waves are
invisible it is impossible without a dedicated measuring instrument that
cost tens of thousand of euros to know your actual exposition. You can
ask a regulation authority or an association to make measurements for
you, but they will be limited in time and space.
This is the reason
why we believe you should care. With ElectroSmart, you can take
informed decisions to limit your daily exposition.
Understanding the impact of electromagnetic waves on human health
is a daunting task. Numerous studies have tried to answer this question,
yet we still have all of our work ahead of us to determine the exposure
level above which electromagnetic waves become dangerous. To be able to
say that an agent is dangerous (electromagnetic waves in this case), a
link between the exposure to the agent and the appearance of a disease
have to be drawn. But how can we come to such conclusion considering
that electromagnetic waves are invisible to naked eye and hard to
measure? Without having precise measurements we cannot assert whether or
not the link existes.
ElectroSmart aims to advance our
understanding of electromagnetic waves. In fact, it offers a tool that
reveals your electromagnetic environment. In terms of which you can take
simple actions to reduce your exposure. For example, by discovering the
sources around, you can decide to shutdown source over which you have
control (Such as the Wi-Fi router or Bluetooth devices) when you are not
using them. Otherwise you can try to move away from the source.
Usually, a few meters can be enough to drastically reduce your exposure.