Aiming to put a stop to the rise of gas leak explosions in households and office spaces around Bangladesh, a young innovator based in Dhaka has invented an electronic device which can “sniff out” gas leaks and alert residents in time to prevent accidents.
The device, aptly named “Sniffer”, can detect as low as 200ppm of gas, its inventor Reza Ul Kabir told the Bangla Tribune.
“Normally, in a moderately sized closed room, around 700-800ppm [parts per million] gas in the air is considered to be dangerous,” he explained. “But Sniffer is triggered when the gas concentration in the air crosses 200ppm; its alarm goes off and alerts the residents of the household that there is a gas leak.”
This way, explosions triggered by gas leaks can be easily averted, he added.
Reza's motive behind creating Sniffer is the alarming number of deaths caused by fire from gas leaks around the country in recent years.
According to a survey by Titas gas transmission authority, at least 3,819 gas leak-related accidents occurred in 2013-14, which increased to 5,123 in 2014-15.
“That means an accident due to gas leakage occurs in every two hours,” Reza said.
“This is why we started our long research on an electronic system that would detect a gas leak and alert people to prevent accidents. We created a functional prototype which was basically a small circuit with a gas sensor. Its task was to start beeping if it detected gas concentration above the threshold level. That is when we named it Sniffer, too,” he said.
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Reza Ul Kabir, CEO of JolPi Electronics Collected
During the testing period of the prototype, flaw was found in its design.
Reza revised the design and sent the new prototype to two electronic experts for testing, who approved it.
“That is how our journey started,” he said.
Sniffer can detect gas leak not only from the stove, but also from the transmission line between the main distribution line and the household connection line. Moreover, it can detect gas created from inflammable products such as nail paint remover, turpentine oil and aerosol products.
Reza said sales of Sniffer took off as soon as it was launched.
“We received good responses. We started with taking pre-orders. Now we are selling Sniffer online
The team is now working on an updated version of Sniffer which, besides the alarm, will send out SMS to designated mobile phones via an app.
The app will contain all kinds of information on gas-related problems as well.
This unique invention has won Reza and his innovative start-up, JolPi Electronics, the third prize in the inaugural edition of National Demo Day on May 25 – an initiative undertaken by the ICT Division with several collaborators to provide a platform for different start-ups in the country to showcase themselves to investors.
The device has also won the “Top Investable Start-Up” title in the ICT Division's ICT Innovation Programme 2017.
Because of Sniffer, JolPi Electronics has had the opportunity to enter a partnership with Grameenphone Accelerator, a programme that promotes tech start-ups, and SDAsia, an online content site that promotes Bangladesh-based ideas and businesses to both local and foreign audiences.
'Made in Dhaka'
Instead of Made in Bangladesh, Sniffer is labelled as Made in Dhaka.
“I am from Dhaka. No matter where I go, I never forget my roots. That is why we say Sniffer is made in Dhaka,” Reza explained.
“I also feel that Made in Bangladesh has a limited reach, whereas Made in Dhaka is a global platform. Through the Made in Dhaka label, we want to market our product around the world,” he added.