The Haier AirBox device. Does it provide any useful information?

Experiment published on Friday, July 25th, 2014
[updated on Monday, August 18th, 2014]

Haier's new AirBox (photo on the right) is very beautifully designed Air Quality sensor, aimed, as part of their smart living concept, at beeing used in conjonction with smart air conditionner. It claims to be able to sense not only Temperature, Humidity and VOC (Volatile Organic Compound), but also the famous small PM2.5 particulate matter.

From a marketign point of view, that's a beautiful storry. But, technically, that's something very different.... First, their smartphone application does not provide the real-time data graphics - but only the daily summary and a instant number which is hard to relate to anthing, as you can see from the screen shots below (taken from There is a simple reason for which they do not provide the real-time graphics, updated very minutes or so: it is because their sensor is so poor that it can't detect any variation in Air Quality! You can check it by yourself from the graphs are the bottom of this article (the voc and pm2.5 readings seems to be stuck to a value of 20, regarless of the actual air quality)

Second, the hardware sensor they use to detect the PM2.5 particulate matter is no more than the low-cost Sharp gp2y1010au0f module. This sharp sensor is pretty much useless if you want want to get any accurate data, at least when used without any kind of data and signal processing (see our low-cost sensor experiment page). So, considering that it only uses a simple 8 bits AVR (the Spansion MB95F698K, F2MC-8FX CPU core) with only has 2KB of RAM, there's just no hope for having any kind of relevant data processing algorithm which could give relevant readings.

As a first conclusion, there is no doubt that the inherent hardware design has significant limitations on the quality of the air sensing readings. But to double confirm the conclusion with some more empericaly data, the last 30 days real-time readings from the Air Box are provided below:

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For reference, the PM2.5 data measurements from the nearest BAM and Dylos sensor are provided (Check this link for more informations).
Few comments about the graph above:
  • From time to time, data is missing. The reason is that the WIFI router on which the Haier air box is connected will automatically switch off from time to time (especially during the night). During this period, data can not be uploaded from the airbox to the Haier server. But, even worse, considering that there is not enough memory storage on the airbox AVC, there is just no way to buffer the accumlated data and send it in bulk mode when the WIFI is available again. That's really a bad design, and that's at least something that is handled in our dylos experiment setup.

  • The PM2.5 and VOC is desperetly stuck to discreet values such as 20 or 80. That's annoying considering that the airbox is located outside, and the measurement should reflect the actual air pollution, which you can see on the "BAM and Dylos" graph. One should expect the PM2.5 and VOC graphs to vary much more from hour to hour, and out of 1 month of collected data, there is no doubt that the readings provided by the Hair Air Box are highly not reialable.

Based on the above analysis, the Haier Air Box is disappointing. For sure, it can not be used for getting any accurate Air Quality information. Eventually, the temperature sensor is working fine, so it will be an ok solution for turning the Air Conditionner on and off based on the living temperature. But, this is a bit of an expensive IOT equipment, and one would expect much more from Haier. So, let's wait and see, hopefully they are already working on the next generation of this IOT Smart Living equipement.


For those interrested in the complete reverse engineering, you can check the page: or the for hardware. For the network protocol reverse engineering, check . And for those interested in extracting the data from their sensors, our scripts are avialble from



本網站採用的污染指數和顏色與EPA是完全相同的。 EPA的指數可以從 AirNow上查到

0 - 50一级(优)空气质量令人满意,基本无空气污染各类人群可正常活动
51 -100二级(良)空气质量可接受,但某些污染物可能对极少数异常敏感人群健康有较弱影响极少数异常敏感人群应减少户外活动

如果你想了解更多有關空氣質量與污染,詳見維基百科或者 AirNow

有關健康建議詳​​見北京的Richard Saint Cyr MD醫生的博客

注意事項: 所有空氣品質數據在發佈時均未經驗證,且為了確保資料準確性,這些數據可能隨時被修改,恕不另行通知。 世界空氣品質指數專案在編制這些訊息內容時已經謹慎的運用了所有適當的技巧,在任何情況下世界空氣品質指數 在任何情況下,世界空氣品質指數專案團隊或其代理人均不對因提供此數據而直接或間接引起的任何損失、傷害或損害來承擔契約、侵權或其他責任。



Temperature unit: