LG officially announced a portable air purifier you can wear on your face like a mask. Dubbed the ‘PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier,’ it looks like something straight out of a science-fiction movie.
The PuriCare uses replaceable filters, similar to what you’d find in LG’s air purifiers for homes. The mask pairs those filters with small, battery-powered fans to help wearers breath. The South Korean tech company says the PuriCare uses sensors to detect when the wearer breathes in or out and adjusts the fans’ speed accordingly.
The Verge notes that LG’s announcement doesn’t specifically mention the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, it does imply the company developed the mask in response to the pandemic. Further, the company says it made the PuriCare to replace “inconsistent” homemade masks and disposable masks that have been in short supply.
LG first announced the mask back in July and said it would donate 2,000 of them to a university hospital in Seoul, South Korea. At the time, an executive said they hoped that it would make it easier for medical staff to wear a mask for several hours.
Despite all this, it’s important to note that LG doesn’t claim the mask slows the spread of COVID-19. It also doesn’t specify if the PuriCare filters exhaled air as well as inhaled air. That difference can be crucial since masks that don’t filter exhaled air can still allow droplets potentially carrying COVID-19 into the air.
As for the battery-powered fans, LG says the PuriCare has an 820mAh cell that can last for up to eight hours of use on its low-power mode and just two hours in high-power mode.
LG also doesn’t say when exactly the mask will release or how much it’ll cost. Instead, the company says it will arrive in “select markets” in the fourth quarter of this year.