Posts: 7,064 +62
Recap: It seems that face masks are the hot new product category for tech companies. With Razer’s Project Hazel arriving later this year, LG has announced it is updating its wearable air purifier with a built-in microphone and a speaker, along with other upgrades.
The catchily titled LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier is a battery-powered mask that started rolling out in key regions, including Asia and the Middle East, last year following its IFA 2020 unveiling. The device packs a respiratory sensor and dual fans, which supply the filtered air and control airflow automatically by sensing the user’s breathing patterns.
LG says that the latest version of its mask improves on what it calls the earlier beta model. Thanks to the addition of a smaller, lighter, more efficient motor, the overall weight is reduced to 94 grams. The battery has also been upped from 820mAh to 1,000mAh and can be fully charged in two hours via USB. The mask is said to be comfortable enough to wear for eight hours.
The most welcome additions will likely be the microphone and speaker. Wearers of the original often sounded muffled when they spoke, so LG has followed in Razer’s footsteps by adding some voice-amplifying tech. Its VoiceON system “automatically recognizes when users are talking and amplifies their voice through the built-in speaker.”
While the mask does block up to 99.95 percent of viruses, bacteria, and common allergens, LG makes no claims about it protecting against the novel coronavirus, though it’s doubtlessly better than going mask-free.
As we noted in August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control actually recommends against using masks with exhalation vents to prevent coronavirus spread. The HEPA filers might be able to block harmful airborne matter from entering the respiratory system, but LG doesn’t say anything about the air that is expelled.
The PuriCare will launch in Thailand next month. LG says other markets will follow "once approved by local regulators." No mention of price—the previous version was $249, while Will.I.am's Xupermask is $299.