Sniffing out the danger

By Ahmed Shatil Alam

On the last week of February in 2016, sad news was reported in the media that a gas pipe leak explosion occurred in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka- that killed three people of a family including an US Embassy maintenance engineer and his two children. The incident-which reportedly took place due to the gas pipe leakage, also severely burnt his wife and the other child. The incident of such explosion occurred through the gas leakage is not so unknown to us, often such horrible news take ‘front page’ coverage at the media.

 

At the latest, according to a New Age report published on July 5, on early Wednesday this week, seven member of a family in Gendaria in Dhaka were severely burnt due to an explosion occurred through gas pipeline leakage.

Among the bad news, we will give you a good news- that a Bangladeshi startup company has made a device that can detect the gas leakage by which the accidents might be reduced. The device- aiming to put a stop to the rise of gas leak explosions in households and office spaces around Bangladesh, as named as ‘Sniffer’, can detect as low as 200ppm of gas, shared its inventor company founder Reza Ul Kabir.

Sniffer- a four by four inches square shaped box with the depth of one inch, made of wood, 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, body spray, turpentine oil, aerosol products etc. At first anyone can get confused to see the sniffer- that it is an ornaments box, because of its delicate design and look.

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The idea of sniffer came to the mind of Reza and his teammates from his startup company called Jolpi Electronics after the horrific accident of Uttara last year. ‘The incident shocked me a lot and thus I started to think of making something by which the possible devastations could be tackled’ says Reza. The IT professional also shared that they started to think about sniffer after the incident, but it finally got the shape in January this year.

He also shared that the name ‘sniffer’ was given upon the basic work of the device. ‘The device can sense the gas or any inflammable products through a sensor that is placed in the box’ says Reza. The sniffer has some holes in its body through which the leaked gas will reach to the sensor. After sensing the gas, it starts to make noise through an alarm installed in it and at the same time the led light in it also starts to flash. ‘The sniffer can be installed at the wall of the kitchen and any places of home as a calling bell’ he said.

Already Jolpi Electronics has sold all their primary lot of sniffer of 1000 pieces at Taka 2300 per piece. ‘We did not hope that much…but people pre-booked and bought the first version of sniffer 1.0’ says Reza. Currently they are in touch with some corporate houses to make deals on setting up sniffer at their offices.

Talking to New Age Xtra, he shared that the sniffer will use the label ‘Made in Dhaka’ instead of Bangladesh. Sharing the reason behind it, Reza-who founded Jolpi Electronics – the Dhaka based technology startup which started its journey few years back, said, ‘I was born in Dhaka and I feel proud to be a part of this century old city…therefore I choose the label, giving a tribute to the city’. Referring the US based tech giant Apple uses the label of California instead of USA, he says since he has a dream to market their product in global arena, the label would be more helpful.

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Reza, who had been in the software business for 15 years, shared that the 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. The device has also won the ‘Top Investable Start-Up’ title at the ICT Innovation Programme 2017.

Reza said that in future they are planning to include mobile technology with sniffer in its updated versions. He expressed his gratitude to his friend Dr Enayetur Rahman, co-founder of Jolpi and the sniffer architect Faysal Shawon over the success of the device.