Although it may sound like a half-baked Pixar movie pitch, the “Pigeon Air Patrol” is real, and its aim is noble: to enlighten people about the frightening levels of air pollution in London. That’s right. Pigeons with cute little high-tech backpacks are here to save the day, and literally make for a brighter future.
The brainchild of DigitasLBi creative director Pierre Duquesnoy, Pigeon Air Patrol was originally an idea that won first place in the #PoweredByTweets competition at last year’s London Design Festival. Now, it has been realized through an effort between DigitasLBi, which is a marketing firm, and Plume Labs, a tech start-up that aims to “beat air pollution” using “environmental AI.”
Using Plume air sensors (the little gadgets on the birds’ backs) and GPS tracking, the Pigeon Air Patrol will monitor “ozone, volatile compounds, and nitrogen dioxyde [which is produced by the city’s diesel cars buses and trucks].”
And, like any great superhero team, the Pigeon Air Patrol brings together disparate personalities for a singular mission. These personalities include…
And of course… NORBERT!
The Trafalgar Trio—a sobriquet that really should be used in any future comic book adaptations of these brave little birds—was joined by several other pigeons on Monday, when they were released into the London skies to execute their three-day mission.
— Pigeon Air Patrol (@PigeonAir) March 14, 2016
And for any Londoners who want to find out how bad the air pollution is in their neighborhood, they can tweet @PigeonAir for an air quality update. Although if things get really desperate, maybe the folks at DigitasLBi and Plume Labs can come up with some kind of “bird signal” that may be shone in the sky. But then again, if pollution levels really did reach such a dire point, nobody would be able to see it.
What do you think about the Pigeon Air Patrol? And which is your favorite pigeon patroller personality? Let your comments fly in the comments section below!
IMAGES: DigitasLBi, Plume Labs