South Korea's LG Electronics launched its battery-powered face mask fitted with two air purifiers in the UAE, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The mask called PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, comes with two air filters and a special case that disinfects the mask with ultra-violet light.
“While this device could not be any timelier, demand for portable protection and access to clean air is not new. For years, we have seen growing interest and concern for maintaining good air quality,” said Hongju Jeon, president of LG Electronics in the Gulf region.
“We are seeing interest in sectors ranging from government and B2B organisations, right through to everyday consumers.”
The market of protective gear is booming. The global sale of disposable masks is set to increase to $166 billion this year, from around $800 million in 2019, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, which weighs 126g and can be used from four to eight hours, is available in the UAE at select outlets of Carrefour, Sharaf DG and ACE stores for Dh699. Two H13 HEPA Filters will be provided in the box, with additional filters available for Dh59.
LG’s new mask comes with dual fans that allow users to take in clean and filtered air. They are fitted with patented respiratory sensors that detect the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath and adjust fan speed accordingly. The fans automatically speed up to assist air intake and slow down to reduce resistance when exhaling to make breathing effortless, LG said.
The PuriCare face mask has been in development since 2017 and undergone gone three years of R&D and product testing.
While undertaking research, LG identified common challenges for mask-wearers, including regulating air flow without becoming too warm or claustrophobic and having glasses fog up. Additionally, as people become more conscious of the environment, the need for a more sustainable solution was clear.
LG’s face mask has been designed based on facial shape analysis. The device fits snugly around the user’s face to minimise air leakage around the nose and chin. A silicone pad seeks to promote comfortable fit for hours and reduce the fogging up of glasses, while an inner cover prevents contamination, LG said in a statement.
About 75 per cent of used masks, as well as other pandemic-related waste, will end up in landfills, or floating in the seas. The UN Environment Programme estimates that in addition to the environmental damage, the impact on tourism and fisheries is about $40bn.
The mask comes with rechargeable 820 milliampere hours battery that offer up to eight hours of operation in low mode and two hours on high.
LG will soon release a case for its face mask, which can charge the device in two hours and send notifications to the user’s smartphone when filters need to be replaced.
All components of the PuriCare Wearable – from the filters to the ear straps – are replaceable and recyclable, according to the company.
The two HEPA filters will prevent harmful airborne matter, such as viruses, bacteria and common allergens, from entering the wearer’s respiratory system.