The Pollen Wise Sensor Network FAQ

Adam Wendel

Software Developer/Programmer

This is a collection of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about the Pollen Wise App.

Q: What does the "Sensor Distance" mean?

A: Pollen Wise uses a network of sensors designed, developed, and built by our small team. Though we have worked hard to bring our Sensors to major metropolitan areas, the cost of each sensor makes it difficult to find a suitable host. If your sensor distance is “very far”, we currently have some solutions in place to do our best to estimate what levels might be near you, though we recognize we can always improve and are always trying. If your Sensor distance shows "Normal" Or better (2 bars or more), do not worry! The data you are seeing is coming direct from our sensor and representative of what your conditions are like.

Q: Why doesn't the app show me the exact distance away?

A: The decision to not show exact distances is one we did not take likely. If we show exactly how far away a sensor is, we will receive complaints. If we do not show the exact distance, we will also receive complaints. Most of our competitors do not reveal much into their sources from their data. As mentioned above, Pollen Wise uses data from our network of proprietary sensors, sensors that are constantly gathering data that is then analyzed on an hourly basis. Without going too far into depth as to the reasoning why we choose to show distance scales, we feel that the focus should be on how applicable the data is to you, not the exact distance you are from a sensor. The breakpoints for each distance were carefully selected to represent reasonable steps while considering factors like climate zones, terrain, etc. If you still would like further information on sensor distances, visit the "more" screen in the app and give us some specific feedback with your reasoning, as we are always open to suggestions.

Q: Why does the app show that I am far from a sensor when it used to say I was close?

A: There are a variety of reasons for this, ranging from scheduled or unscheduled downtime to expired leases. This could be due to network issues or consumable parts awaiting replacement by the sensor owner/host. Our team is constantly monitoring the network for unexpected downtime, and we reach out to hosts when such occasions occur.

The other major cause for distance changes comes down to the costs of doing business. Occasionally, an agreement we have with a sensor host may come to an end. Sometimes we temporarily place a sensor in a city for a potential buyer to use, or to test possible expansion markets. As of June 2021 our current focus is not rapid expansion, though we are working towards one with a variety of software and model updates and hardware improvements to drive costs down (see the “What can I do?” question below).

Q: OK, so I understand the Sensor Distance now but still want one closer to me. What can I do?

A: Most of our sensors are hosted by Allergists, Municipalities, Hospitals, School Districts, Universities and Researchers, and others who wish to provide hourly counts to their communities. The best way to get one of our sensors in your area would be to contact your local allergist and let them know about our sensors! If they are interested, direct them to our website or have them contact us at

Another option to consider would be to contact your local government leaders or school district to see if they might be interested, or work with friends and family to spread the cost out. In terms of cost, as of June 2021 the current cost to lease a Pollen Sense Automated Particulate Sensor is 300 USD/month USD for 2 years (subject to change). For the most up-to-date pricing, please visit our pricing page.

We recognize our sensor is not cheap. See the question “What is a Pollen Sense Automated Sensor?” for an explanation on pricing and our sensor technology. If this cost is prohibitive for you, we encourage you to work with those in your community (including your friends and family who are allergy sufferers!) to bring one closer to you. We also have an amazing sales team that is always looking for great people to host our sensors and we welcome your help in getting one closer to you. If you have further questions on network expansion or pricing, please reach out to us directly at

Q: What is a Pollen Sense Automated Sensor, and why does the data your app show differ from other apps or websites I see?

A: Pollen Wise is the consumer facing app for data collected from our company’s automated network of sensors. These sensors are the fruits of more than 6 years of research and development efforts. The sensor uses specially built hardware in combination with Machine Learning Models and Machine Vision to accurately predict the particulates it collects. We are constantly improving and training these models.

Pollen Sense sensors are continuously collecting data, and on an hourly basis each sensor collects the data and analyzes it to give you the counts you see in the app. Because of this, the data you see in the app is the some of the most up-to-date information you will find on any platform tracking pollen and seasonal allergens, which may not always agree with the data shown by other platforms. Thanks to some of our research partners, we frequently compare the data we gather versus the old manual way of pollen counting (imagine a person in a lab coat looking under a microscope and individually counting each particulate they see to make their estimation!).