What just happened? LG has announced the rollout of a wearable air purifier it revealed a few months ago. The LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier is a battery-powered facemask designed to block up to 99.95 percent of viruses, bacteria, and common allergens.
LG used August’s virtual IFA 2020 event to unveil the wearable. It’s more than just a mask: the device is essentially one of the company’s PuriCare Air Purifiers that can be strapped to your face, featuring two of the H13 HEPA filters found in the residential purifiers.
The wearable also packs a respiratory sensor and dual fans to supply the filtered air. The sensor sets one of the three fan speeds automatically based on the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breathing.
Incorporating fans and sensors means the mask requires a power source—an 820mAH battery. LG says it can last for up to eight hours in low-power mode, while the high-power option is good for two hours. Fully recharging the battery takes around two hours.
Different parts of the mask can be removed, cleaned, and replaced if necessary, and LG has integrated the device into its LG ThinQ app, so wearers are notified when the filters need to be changed. Every element is recyclable, too.
Another compelling feature is the purifier’s case, which uses UV-C LED lights to eliminate 99.9% of harmful germs in just 30 minutes. LG says it also removes moisture from internal components caused by the user’s breath.
“PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier was developed to address the growing demand worldwide for products that can improve personal hygiene at a time when it’s needed most,” states Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company.
“This groundbreaking device offers a new level of portable protection, making it possible for consumers to comfortably breathe clean air on-the-go, so they have one less thing to worry about.”
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, which could be why there’s no mention of Covid-19 in its release.
The LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier will begin rolling out in key regions including Asia and the Middle East, among others. No word on a release in other locations, and the price remains a mystery—but don't expect it to be cheap.