South Korea based technology company, LG, is looking to capitalize on the current (and possibly future) health concerns.
Earlier this year, LG released its facial recognition payment devices in select locations in South Korea to push more contactless payment methods during the pandemic.
Now the tech company is looking to reach more consumers, with LG debuting its new LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier at IFA 2020, an annual global technology exhibition that is taking place in Berlin, Germany this year. In its press release, LG says that the battery-powered mask will be available at the start of the fourth quarter in certain markets.
“The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier is an exciting addition to our growing lineup of products designed to deliver meaningful health and hygiene benefits,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company. “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.”
The tech company says that the wearable air purifier provides consumers with a reliable and reusable option compared to current masks, which can vary in quality and durability. LG claims that the parts that users can replace are recyclable, such as the filters and straps.
As for design, the LG Puricare boasts two H13 HEPA filters, a lightweight 820mAh battery that they claim gives the mask eight hours of operation on “low” mode and 2 hours on “High.” LG also says that they used facial shape analysis to make the mask ergonomically designed for a comfortable fit.
The press release doesn’t provide details regarding the difference between low and high modes, or whether the mask is comfortable.
Still, the mask utilizes replaceable filters and a respiratory sensor, which LG says detects the “cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath.” It adjusts the two fans, which speed up to assist air intake and slow down to reduce resistance when users exhale.
To reuse the device, LG says that each mask comes with a case that kills harmful germs using UV-LED lights, charges the mask, and can send notifications to a mobile app when new filters are needed.
In July, The Korea Herald reported that LG donated 2,000 PuriCare masks to a South Korea hospital, hoping that a more comfortable mask could help healthcare workers during long shifts. But LG has not said whether the PuriCare effectively protects the user and others against COVID-19 and told The Verge that it was still waiting for testing to be completed to give more details.
However, the CDC does not recommend people wear masks with exhalation valves or vents, which they say could still cause a wearer to transmit coronavirus to others since expelled respiratory droplets could escape the mask.
The cost of the PuriCare is still unknown, but its success could be in jeopardy until LG can show its effectiveness against coronavirus.