Become a planetwatcher

July 22 AMA session with PlanetWatch CEO

In this article you’ll find the answers that our CEO, Claudio Parrinello, gave in the AMA session on July 14.

SCAM ALERT: Before answering your questions be on the alert for imposters and scammers: we’ve come across an unauthorized Reddit channel that claims to be PlanetWatch.Unless you find the link on our website, any social channel is likely to be a scam!

SENSORS QUESTIONS – TYPE 1 – AIRQINO

Can you confirm Airqino (the July batch) will go on sale at the end of July? Could you tell us the exact date? I’m one of those 60 people who bought the Type 1 license in time. Thank you and have a nice day.

As we promised, by the end of next week Airqino will become available to qualifying license holders, so we’ll be keeping our July commitment.

It takes time, because we want to make sure only those who are entitled get to purchase the sensor, so we need to cross-check things such as license purchase numbers and authorized emails that we need to contact.

Can you give us some more information about when and how many units will be available in a third batch of Type 1 sensors for Europe so that we can gauge whether it’s worth buying a license now?

It’s a tricky process. License sales help us estimate sensor demand so, the more licenses we sell, the more sensors we can possibly preorder. However, I don’t like the idea of people waiting too long, especially on compliance uncertainties.

All in all, if demand is high, I’m positive we’ll be able to get an additional 1,000 Airqinos before the end of the year.

Finally, in August we should be able to give you an update about US compliance. I’ve also received questions about Australia and Russia compliance. At the moment I don’t have an answer, but we’re working on this.

How much does the maintenance of an Airqino cost? considering it works for 2 or 3 years? Does it  need to be calibrated from time to time and who pays for that? Are owners supposed to pay for this maintenance cost or is it included in the price of the license?

The need for calibration could arise within the sensor’s lifetime and to some extent it depends on the environment in which the sensor is exposed. However, as we always play it fair, we won’t suddenly charge money for calibration, etc. We’ll do our best to work out a scenario where at least a significant fraction of calibration costs is borne by us.

In order to max data quality where should the Airqino be installed? For example, should it be facing the street, should we install it in the Garden, or on top of the Building. Thank you for this great Project.

Ideally you should install it 3-5 meters above street level. This doesn’t mean data isn’t relevant if you place it higher, it means that some data will have to be reevaluated. 

The house where I intend to install the Airqino is exactly on a border between two pixels. We know that GPS location varies a few meters even if the device isn’t moved. Can this situation affect the rewards?

I’m afraid it does. Because, in our system, rewards are connected to the pixel system.

If you believe that you’ve been adversely affected by this situation, get in touch and we’ll find a solution.

Everyone wants a pink Airquino, can you make one?

We’ve been considering color customization along with lots of other things that would be nice to do.  For example, releasing a limited edition of Airqinos with artwork that could become a collectible item. However, for the time being we have other priorities. Maybe one day, why not?

TYPE 2

I’ve got no updates about the Type 2 sensor.

We’re still scanning the market and we hope to be able to begin delivering Type 2 in the fall.

TYPE 3

Hi, why is the Type 3 sensor so expensive? Mooted $600. The rewards are only 30 Planets per day. I get that your overall ethos is about the environment, but the price of the sensor does not really justify the rewards for this specific sensor.

Here I’m going to make an announcement, but let me first explain something.

When the White Paper was first written, we had less information than today about the potential value of indoor data. At that time, we felt it made sense to monitor indoor air quality with consumer-grade devices so the PLANETS reward figure that we set was reflecting that view. Later on, we realized the importance and the potential market value of indoor data from RESET-certified sensors, which is why we onboarded the Kaiterra system, which is RESET-certified and obviously much more expensive than a consumer-grade device.

So, in some sense, indoor data from a RESET device has the same scientific dignity of outdoor data from Airqino, i.e. they are PREMIUM data. However, the current Type 3 reward does not reflect this view.

Now, I personally believe that we should only onboard RESET-compliant devices, i.e. premium devices as PlanetWatch Type 3. But then, it makes sense to increase the rewards for Type 3. However, as I’ve said several times, we won’t change the white paper without community support.

So, what do we do? 

I have a big announcement to make: PlanetWatch is going to fund out of its own pocket 50% extra rewards for Type 3 sensors, and this, at least until the end of 2021. In the meantime, we’ll test our governance model by asking PlanetWatchers if they want to modify the White Paper tokenomics and permanently increase Type 3 rewards out of the standard rewards budget.

TYPE 4

We’re sending 200 Atmotubes to Amazon warehouses in France and the US. We’re using Amazon as a logistics partner for this lot, but we’ll be selling from our own websites. Just bear with us a little longer. It could take up to 3 weeks before they are ready to sell, I suppose.

We might soon onboard as Type 4 devices some indoor, consumer-grade ones which are not RESET-compliant. This makes sense on science grounds and also helps fulfill your demand for low-cost devices.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

How is PlanetWatch using blockchain other than giving rewards?

We’re writing air quality data on the Algorand blockchain. We want to create a public tamper-proof, global ledger over time, where all contributions are tracked, which is key for rewards.

Besides, we believe blockchain-based air quality records could be used in several ways. For example, they could help prove compliance with indoor air quality standards, for SLAs or insurance contracts, where a reduced premium could be offered to venue operators who can prove they correctly manage air quality in offices, schools, etc.

Love what the team’s doing, it would be great to get some transparency on PlanetWatch’s 225million pre-mine. For instance are you free to dump the tokens? what are the wallet addresses? how do we know you won’t just quit at some point? Thanks!

As you know, max PLANETS supply is fixed at 4.5 billion. As stated in the White Paper, 5%, i.e. 225 million tokens, were allocated to PlanetWatch as a company.

I think it makes sense to disclose some additional details.

Out of these 225 million tokens, 100 millions have been allocated to Company Founders, including myself. These will be released according to a well-defined vesting schedule:

  • 18 equal monthly installments starting in December 2021;

Regarding the remaining 125 million tokens, a fraction have been allocated to a wide range of trusted partners, both corporate and individuals who are supporting our activities. Still, most of that bag is under the direct control of the company and will be used for a number of activities, mostly marketing.

I don’t think it is appropriate to disclose further details at the moment, but you should consider that several  millions of circulating PLANETS are NOT under our direct control. Despite this, as you can see on Bitfinex, nobody has really dumped big amounts of PLANETS so far.

Once again, I’m not going to get involved in speculations about the future token price. What I can say is that many PLANETS holders have been comparing PLANETS price evolution to the overall market behavior in recent weeks and trust me, they aren’t unhappy!

Why was the PW company registered in France when the team is almost entirely Italian? Just curious if there was any economic incentive.

Both personal and corporate reasons.

At a personal level, I lived in France for 15 years. Several years before Planetwatch, I founded another high-tech start-up in France and appreciated the very strong governmental support system. Honestly, France is really helping their tech companies.

Also, we are based in France but we are less than a mile from Switzerland, in particular from the CERN site. Being close to one of our strongest partners makes sense. We’re actually located in a CERN-backed incubator.

Also, although many of us are Italian, we have partners and collaborators from many countries, including the US, Slovenia, Japan, etc. There is no nationality requirement to work with us!

Would you consider collaborating with other players in the IOT ecosystem?

Synergies are always welcome when they make sense for us. For example, via EMRIT, we’re de facto leveraging synergies already with the Helium Network community.

The French government has suggested that the European Securities and Market Authority, or ESMA, should regulate digital currency activity across the European Union.
Would this have any impact on PlanetWatch?  If so, in what way?

We are advised by a Paris-based law firm with a lot of experience on crypto regulations. We haven’t discussed this yet, but in case we need to, we’ll be ready for regulatory changes.

Would you be open to the idea of crowd funding so that your user base has a chance to invest in PlanetWatch alongside big corporations?

I do like the idea, but it’s quite difficult to crowdfund globally. One approach would be issuing a security token. Compliance is complicated.

Are you going to get into light, erosion, wind, soil nutrient, thermal (animal), 5g weather, noise pollution, or any other types of sensors? Why does it take time?
As I have already said, the answer is yes, for this first question. And for the second question, I believe we are extremely fast. Look, we were founded in Jan. 2020,  4 months later we had an MVP, after 8 months we went live on the Algorand Mainnet and today, 18 months down the line, we have over 2,000 sensors worldwide split across 4 types and we have already posted over 67 million transactions on Algorand.

Let me elaborate further on that and explain why we don’t onboard sensors every other day.

Let me tell you all the steps we consider before starting to sell a sensor:

  • First, we establish that there is a serious scientific case as well as a business one for hyperlocal air quality data;
  • We review sensors on the market;
  • We shortlist some, contact suppliers and get evaluation kits;
  • If they are good, we negotiate financial terms, we decide whether to sell them directly or not;
  • If we sell them, we set up logistics;
  • We build the software interface to stream data to PlanetWatch;
  • Finally, we start selling or advertising the sensor. For example, with Kaiterra, we are currently in the software building stage.

So why not faster?

Because we’re still a startup and we’re doing a lot of stuff, such as;

  • Next week we’ll release the new map (take a sneak peek here) where you’ll be able to see all the sensors.
  • The new App will be released at the end of July;
  • We are doing lots of technical improvements.

Regarding noise, water and other environmental measures, we will follow the same step by step approach. This might sound slow and bureaucratic, but it’s just professional, if you ask me. This is not an amateur, get-rich-quick project. Stakes are high and we want to get it right. 

How often are your Tiers updated? I live in a suburb that has a population density of over 2000/km2 but the PW map still shows Tier 2.

As you know, the Tier structure on our maps is based on reputable, third-party information.

Clearly a population map can become obsolete over time, however I don’t think it would be reasonable to review the map too often. We might consider a review not earlier than next year.

You’ve showed a preview of the new upcoming map, I suggest you replace  the red of the sensors with a more optimistic planetwatch colour, (Blue/green) otherwise it looks like a COVID map.

Yes, we’ll change the colour of the sensors.

In the app, the middle button on the bottom that pulls up a map doesn’t let me view my sensor. It says I need to download chrome. (I did and now there is a checkmark next to it). Then it says I need to download the algosigner extension of chrome (I added the extension) but it will not do anything else. It has been like this from day 1. Will this be fixed? The only way I can view the map and my data spots is through the atmotube app right now.

Let’s see how many issues are solved by the new app release.

Do you have any plans for reward-halvings, staking, validators for the future?

We’re currently talking to Algorand DeFi players. We’re discussing about what makes the most sense for PlanetWatch.

We are working on a strategy to make PLANETS available worldwide. Hope to be able to disclose something soon!

Can we get API access to our *own* data? While PlanetWatch is aggregating on a global scale, I’d love to be able to see the info that is coming from my own sensors so I can have fun with Excel too!

We’ll consider this for indoor, RESET-certified sensors.

But it’s not very meaningful for e.g. Type 2 sensors.

Ciao Claudio, we always ask you about how you can support us but we never ask you how we can support you and this project. Of course, you are already doing a lot with your team but how can we support you as a community? For example, I own apartments. I could place some stickers there about PlanetWatch so my guests learn more about this topic too.

Great question! Thank you! You can certainly help us promote PlanetWatch across your community, your business network.

In particular, we want to become more visible in Asia, so if someone has a connection with a business partner or Influencer, maybe you can help us. Somebody mentioned the Friday for Future movement and it is certainly a potential partner for us.

Thanks for offering help and support, that’s very nice of you.

Is PW able to differentiate between a highly toxic environment and a less harmful one with the current sensors? For example, Atmotube shows zero whether one is cooking, vaping or in a highly toxic environment without differentiating. These places obviously carry different levels of danger. Or is PW only looking at the deviation from norm in this stage of the project?

Data analysis is difficult. Low-cost devices can provide scientifically-relevant measurements when data is aggregated and analyzed. Individual Atmotubes are a great tool to raise awareness of lifestyle vs pollution exposures. In this sense, trends are more relevant than actual values, which can fluctuate for many reasons.

The manufacturer of Sensedge Mini  says the sensor is smart-home enabled. Will this feature still be available once we connect the sensor to PlanetWatch? Also, where will we be able to see the data from our own Sensedge Mini? Thank you!

We’re still working on interfaces, so I can’t disclose more details now, but rest assured that if we onboard a sensor it means that you will earn tokens by sending relevant information.

What will people in large tall apartment blocks do if someone comes in and messes with their earnings? The restriction of having only two type 4 sensors as long as they move in and out of a location seems unfair as there are many people that are working at home due to COVID and some people don’t go out as often as others. Do you plan on making this more friendly towards earnings for those that live in such buildings?

Type 4 in different apartments inside the same building is fine.

How can we see our exact spot in the waiting list for Type 1 and Type 3 devices in the future? I ordered the type 1 license quite some time ago and the counter said ~300 at that time, but was corrected later that week down to 260ish. This is very confusing, because I have no idea what my position is now.

Initially we didn’t plan to sell sensors directly and manage queues. We are working on this.

In a prior AMA you mentioned carbon credits as a potential revenue source. Would you be able to share any further details, and would this be a revenue for planetwatch and/or could some of this be passed down to the sensor owners.

Carbon credits aren’t  a source of revenue for us but an item to pay with Planets.

To be clear, we don’t plan to make any commercial profit on them.

Keep watching our Planet and stay tuned for more announcements coming soon!

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