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Is LG’s new wearable air purifier the smart face mask we’ve been waiting for?

Is LG’s new wearable air purifier the smart face mask we’ve been waiting for?
(Image credit: LG)

LG has unveiled a new wellness gadget called the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, a battery powered personal air purifier face mask. In a recent press release, the electronics brand said its new wearable "resolves the dilemma of homemade masks being of inconsistent quality, and disposal masks being in short supply."

While we’d disagree with the latter point – after initial stockpiling, there’s now an abundance of reusable fabric face masks for sale – the quality of homemade face masks can be hit and miss. LG didn’t mention the coronavirus anywhere in its press release, but instead highlighted that the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier has:

  • A patented Respiratory Sensor
  • Dual Fans for easier breathing
  • Two H13 HEPA filters 
  • Runs on a 820mAh rechargeable battery
  • Comes with a case that includes UV-LEDs to tackle germs

LG used face shape analysis to come up with the ergonomic design of its new wearable air purifier, ensuring it sits snugly on your face to reduce air leakage around the nose and chin, just like a well-fitting face mask. LG reckons it’s lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time, with elasticated ear straps to keep it in place.

LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier

(Image credit: LG)

How does the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier work?

LG’s personal air purifier face mask is packing an 820mAh battery, designed to run for roughly eight hours in Low mode or two hours in High mode. The two H13 HEPA filters we mentioned above are similar to filters used in LG’s home air purifiers, so that’s some pretty hefty air purification tech for your face.

In its press release, LG said the "high-performance replaceable filters enable PuriCare Wearable to supply fresh, clean air indoor and out". In other words, when you’re wearing it, a combination of the Dual Fans and Respiratory Sensory enable you to breathe in clean, filtered air. 

It automatically detects your breath
The Respiratory Sensor detects the cycle and volume of your breath and adjusts the speed of the fans to suit - there are three fan speeds in total. They speed up when you breathe in, then automatically slow down when you exhale.

LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier: the face mask has elasticated ear straps to help it fit better

(Image credit: LG)

Better still, the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier comes with a travel case designed with UV-LEDs that could help kill germs that build-up on the mask. Charging the case is easy too: once you’ve paired the wearable with the LG ThinQ app (Android, iOS), you’ll be notified when the mask needs charging and when the HEPA filters need replacing. Both the case and the wearable air purifier itself are made from recyclable materials.

Is this the smart face mask we’ve been waiting for?

Before the novel coronavirus hit, wearing a face mask to run daily errands would seem preposterous. But here we are, several months into a global health pandemic that has already infected millions and is showing no signs of slowing down yet. 

For those of us who can wear face masks and who choose to do so, a high quality fabric face covering will suffice in most low-risk settings, says the CDC. In areas where virus transmission is active, or if you’re sharing your home with someone who has COVID-19, or if you are aged over 60, WHO advises medical masks.

LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier: the wearable photographed from the front

(Image credit: LG)

The truth is, some people hate wearing face masks of any description. But LG’s offering may prove tempting to them, as it claims to ‘make breathing effortless’ when you’re wearing the device. Like most things, the price will play a big part in how essential a purchase this is when it finally becomes available to buy.

"The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier is an exciting addition to our growing lineup of products designed to deliver meaningful health and hygiene benefits," said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company. 

LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier release date and price

LG’s wellness wearable is slated for a Q4 release in select territories. We should hear more about the release date and price when LG debuts the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier at IFA 2020 (3-5 Sept). 

If you’re without a face mask right now, these are the best places to buy fabric face masks online for home delivery:

Looking for more coronavirus related content? Take a look at our guide to the best digital thermometers for fever monitoring, or get answers to the most common coronavirus questions from a doctor.