USA TODAY US Edition

Pan­demic changes the look of tech

- Brett Molina and Mike Snider Felic­ity Warner of Re­viewed.com con­trib­uted to this re­port. Wearable Tech · Tech · Gadgets · Consumer Goods · Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · Nokia N95 · Amazon · LG Electronics · United States of America · U.S. Food and Drug Administration · Halo: Combat Evolved

The COVID-19 pan­demic has touched ev­ery part of our lives, and plans sur­round­ing CES 2021 were no dif­fer­ent.

But it wasn’t just show sched­ules and venues dis­rupted by the out­break. The prod­ucts show­cased dur­ing the big tech event were in­flu­enced by our new nor­mal dur­ing the pan­demic.

At CES, gad­get mak­ers pulled out ev­ery­thing from smart masks to wear­able air pu­ri­fiers, not to men­tion mul­ti­ple de­vices aimed at mak­ing both the air and wa­ter cleaner.

Here’s a look at all the CES de­vices de­signed to keep you safer dur­ing the pan­demic.

Smart masks are here

The AirPop Ac­tive+ is a smart mask fea­tur­ing a Halo sen­sor that its creators claim mea­sures the user’s breath­ing data and the air qual­ity of their sur­round­ings. The sen­sor in the mask works to­gether with a smart­phone app to track breath­ing data and the pol­lu­tants blocked by the mask fil­ter. The mask will be avail­able at select re­tail­ers this year for $149.99.

Mask­fone takes it a step fur­ther, dou­bling as both a mask and a hands-free head­set of sorts. The masks fea­tures a med­i­cal grade N95 fil­ter and built-in wire­less ear­buds and mi­cro­phone so users can take calls hands-free while wear­ing the mask. There also are hid­den con­trols on the mask to ad­just vol­ume or play mu­sic. It will be avail­able at re­tail­ers in­clud­ing Tar­get and Ama­zon start­ing in Fe­bru­ary for $49.99.

Mean­while, elec­tron­ics gi­ant LG is work­ing on a PuriCare Wear­able Air Pu­ri­fier, which has two fil­ters that cap­ture up to 99.95% of viruses, bac­te­ria and al­ler­gens from en­ter­ing the res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem. The smart mask, which has a recharge­able bat­tery for 2 to 8 hours of wear, also ad­justs its two fans to the user’s breath­ing.

There’s no date for re­lease in the U.S., but LG is test­ing the mask to meet cer­tain stan­dards. “It’s def­i­nitely pro­tec­tion for the wearer and, to some ex­tent, to the peo­ple around you,” said Dan Hayes, who over­sees emerg­ing prod­ucts at LG USA.

“We are try­ing to give con­sumers peace of mind and some com­fort that when they leave their house they have an op­tion for pu­ri­fied air around them.”

Mak­ing your air and wa­ter cleaner

Per­haps best known for snazzy OLED TVs and home ap­pli­ances, LG has been mak­ing air-pu­rifi­ca­tion prod­ucts for years.

“I think what’s hap­pened this year, be­cause we are spend­ing so much time in our homes, and so much time on­line, con­sumers now have be­come more ed­u­cated about the ben­e­fits of air pu­rifi­ca­tion,” said Dan Hayes, who over­sees emerg­ing prod­ucts at LG USA.

Al­ready on the mar­ket is PuriCare Mini ($199.99), a portable air fil­ter with a recharge­able bat­tery that fil­ters viruses, bac­te­ria and al­ler­gens from around you. Quiet and light (just more than one pound), the PuriCare can clean 50% of the air in­side a car in 10 min­utes, LG says.

Be­yond LG, the mak­ers of the air pu­ri­fier Luft Duo claim their de­vice can shorten the life­span of the air­borne coro­n­avirus. The portable air pu­ri­fier can cover up to a 240-square-foot space, us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of pho­to­cat­alytic tech­nol­ogy and UVA LED to break down pol­lu­tants.

There’s also CleanAirZo­ne, an air pu­ri­fier that uses a bi­ol­ogy-based process in­stead of fil­ters to keep air clean. Its creators claim the de­vice can cap­ture pol­lu­tants in the air as well as viruses in­clud­ing COVID-19.

Keep­ing of­fices and gad­gets clean, too

Mo­bile com­put­ing de­vice maker Tar­gus re­vealed two prod­ucts aimed at keep­ing germs off your de­vices. Its lat­est back­pack fea­tures an “an­timi­cro­bial in­fused pro­tec­tive fin­ish on key touch­points to pre­vent the growth of micro­organ­isms.” The com­pany also un­veiled a UV-C LED Dis­in­fec­tion Light that will au­to­mat­i­cally emit UV-C light­ing for five min­utes ev­ery hour to dis­in­fect your of­fice space.

For larger spa­ces, the LG CLOi au­ton­o­mous ro­bot in de­vel­op­ment by the elec­tron­ics com­pany will use UV-C light to dis­in­fect high-traf­fic, high-touch ar­eas. LG en­vi­sions the ro­bot be­ing used in com­mer­cial spa­ces such as cor­po­rate, re­tail, and restau­rants. It’s sched­uled to launch soon.

Track­ing your health with a but­ton

Since the pan­demic be­gan, more of us have paid closer at­ten­tion to our health. It’s some­thing you can soon track with a wear­able BioBut­ton. The FDA-cleared FDA-ap­proved de­vice, dis­pos­able af­ter about 90 days of use, will con­tin­u­ously mea­sure tem­per­a­ture, heart rate and res­pi­ra­tory rate with clin­i­cal ac­cu­racy, says maker BioIn­tel­liSense. It’s worn on your up­per left chest, and an app will de­liver no­ti­fi­ca­tions con­firm­ing you’re “Cleared” or “Not Cleared” to en­try at work or a doc­tor’s of­fice, for ex­am­ple.

 ?? LG ELEC­TRON­ICS ?? LG’s PuriCare Wear­able Air Pu­ri­fier is a smart mask with two fil­ters that cap­ture up to 99.95% of viruses, bac­te­ria and al­ler­gens from en­ter­ing the res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem. Its recharge­able bat­tery al­lows for 2 to 8 hours of wear.
LG ELEC­TRON­ICS LG’s PuriCare Wear­able Air Pu­ri­fier is a smart mask with two fil­ters that cap­ture up to 99.95% of viruses, bac­te­ria and al­ler­gens from en­ter­ing the res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem. Its recharge­able bat­tery al­lows for 2 to 8 hours of wear.
 ?? LG ELEC­TRON­ICS ?? LG Elec­tron­ics is de­vel­op­ing a ro­bot that dis­in­fects of­fices, restau­rants and other high-traf­fic ar­eas us­ing ul­tra­vi­o­let (UV-C) light. LG Busi­ness So­lu­tions USA plans to bring the ro­bot to mar­ket in early 2021.
LG ELEC­TRON­ICS LG Elec­tron­ics is de­vel­op­ing a ro­bot that dis­in­fects of­fices, restau­rants and other high-traf­fic ar­eas us­ing ul­tra­vi­o­let (UV-C) light. LG Busi­ness So­lu­tions USA plans to bring the ro­bot to mar­ket in early 2021.
 ?? AIRPOP ?? The AirPop Ac­tive+ com­bines a sen­sor on the mask and app to mea­sure a user’s breath­ing and the air qual­ity of their sur­round­ings.
AIRPOP The AirPop Ac­tive+ com­bines a sen­sor on the mask and app to mea­sure a user’s breath­ing and the air qual­ity of their sur­round­ings.

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