Covid-19 led to a frantic buying of masks and hand sanitisers. People started shifting in their cleanliness needs and the sales of pandemic preventive essentials have skyrocketed.
Face masks, sanitisers, and air purifiers. Not forgetting vaccines and surgical gloves too. These are items most couldn’t really be bothered with in the past.
Some tech giants caught on to this need from consumers, so they manufactured and sold or gave away basic face masks. Recently, more have tapped on their tech capabilities to sell air purifying face masks with high-tech features.
The new tech masks even have fans installed in them to blow air into the mouth of the users, with up to 99.95 per cent filtration of micron particles!
Will these air purifying face masks be here to stay or will they blow away? We take a look at three brands that have launched their air purifier face masks and find out more.
The Razer Zephyr
Razer’s transparent RGB wearable air purifier with air filters was launched last year.
It costs S$159.90 each and is currently sold out online. Razer does not inform when it will stock up on the masks and only drops a limited quantity of Zephyrs on the site each time.
The mask contains fans at a speed of up to 6,200 RPM and the filters can filter at least 95 per cent of micron particles.
The mask can last up to eight hours with the fan on low speed and the charging time for the device is around three hours.
Measuring 18cm by 10cm by 10cm, it weighs around 200 grams. The mask has a smartphone app that is compatible with Android and iOS. Filters are replaceable every three days.
Razer states on its website that the mask is not an N95 mask or respirator. But it claims it “offers greater protection” compared to standard disposable or cloth masks.
The masks have been tested for “95 per cent Particulate Filtration Efficiency and 99 per cent Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE)”. It made the news previously regarding some confusion from users about it being N95-grade and has since clarified about the product.
Both inhaled and exhaled air is filtered. The Zephyr mask comes with a silicone face seal and dual strap design to fit all head sizes.
The unique feature about this mask is that it’s powered by Razer Chroma RGB, which has 16.8 million colours and it claims to offer a suite of head-turning effects.
The mask has a one-year warranty.
The LG Puricare
LG was quick to release an air purifier mask in August 2020. The device was created to plug the gap in the shortage of masks worldwide in 2020.
Looking like a futuristic version of a cloth mask, it is equipped with two filters on either side of the mask and has fans to support airflow.
The filters are similar to LG’s brand of home air purifiers, and can block 99.95 per cent of harmful particles.
It is 14cm by 11cm by 20cm and has a lightweight 820mAh battery. The total product weighs around130 grams. The device recharges in two hours for repeated use and the mask can last up to eight hours.
Puricare also comes with Bluetooth connectivity to let users track their breathing and for product maintenance. There’s also a VoiceOn function that projects the sound of your voice to make it easy to be heard.
The device allows users to take in clean, filtered air while the respiratory sensor function detects the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath and adjusts the dual three-speed fans accordingly.
There is also an add-on mask case that’s equipped with UV-LED lights to kill harmful germs and can charge up the mask too.
The Dyson Zone
It is Dyson’s first wearable product with noise cancelling air purifying headphones.
Zone is a wearable air filtration system that doubles as its first audio product. There is a detachable visor that blows filtered air to the person’s nose, mouth, and chin.
The company said that the product has been six years in the making, way before the pandemic came into the picture.
According to Dyson, the headset is engineered to fit comfortably and distribute weight evenly with its cushions on the headband.
It offers four air purification modes – from low to auto. It filters the air to 0.1 micron particles and captures 99 per cent of those particles. Users can also remove the mouthpiece and just listen to the headphones.
The company has not shared the pricing and more information about the air purifier face mask, but it did mention that Zone will be out this year.
The price tag? Some observers have speculated the price to be upwards of US$550 as it took six years to research. Plus its dual functions where it can also be used as headphones will mean that it will cost more.
With these tech giants releasing air purifier face masks, other tech firms are also jumping on the bandwagon. Less-known brands include Respiray, Atmoblue, and Air Ring.
Razer is currently working (still in the concept phase) on a new air purifying mask called Project Hazel, which it claims is the world’s smartest mask. It is a surgical N95 respirator with auto sterilisation function.
The design is also clear and transparent and there’s voice amp tech which ensures that speech isn’t muffled with a built-in mic and amplifier. It is also waterproof, scratch proof and can be charged wirelessly.
This year, some countries are reopening and people are not required to wear masks in all settings. The interest in these gadgets may cool for the moment.
But I think if the prices of these slightly expensive products dip due to slower demand, there’s no harm in buying one to try out for the fun of it.
I suppose no one knows the future and how many more mutations of viruses we will have to deal with too. These masks might solve the need to keep replenishing your mask inventory as well.
Featured Image Credit: Dyson, Razer, LG