LG has revealed a battery-powered face mask with a built-in air purifier, which seeks to resolve issues of “inconsistent quality” and make “breathing effortless”.
The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier has two H13 HEPA filters, the same kind that are used in the brand’s home purifying products. HEPA filters are also used in aircraft to clean the air inside cabins.
The mask’s two fans are accompanied by a “Respiratory Sensor” which detects the “cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath”. The sensor then accordingly adjusts the fans, which have three speeds.
With a “lightweight” 820mAh battery, the mask is able to operate for eight hours at low mode and two hours on high mode, according to the company. The fans can automatically speed up to “assist air intake” and slow down to “reduce resistance” as people exhale.
“Extensive facial shape analysis”
LG says that the product has been ergonomically designed based on “extensive facial shape analysis” in an effort to reduce “air leakage” around the nose and chin region. The company says this will allow the product to be worn comfortably for hours on end.
The product comes with a case that seeks to maintain cleanliness between use. The case can charge the mask and has UV-LED lights that help to kill germs. It also links up with mobile apps to tell users when the filters need to be replaced. Each part of the mask if replaceable and recyclable.
LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company presdent Dan Song says: “At a time when consumers are seeking ways to make life safer and more convenient, it’s important that we’re able to offer solutions that add measurable value.”
Though LG makes no references to coronavirus, the facemask has likely been prompted by the ongoing pandemic, as demand for facemasks soar. (There has also been a boom in home purifying product design.) But while the purifying mechanism works to filter the air people inhale, it is unclear as to whether it filters the air people exhale.
This is a key element for facemask design; part of their use is filtering the air someone with coronavirus might exhale around people who are not infected. Design Week reached out to LG about this aspect of the design but the company said it cannot release more details until the product has been certified.
The face mask will be revealed at consumer electronics tradeshow, IFA 2020 based in Berlin. While LG says that it will be made available in certain territories in the fourth quarter, there is currently no price.