Visi

In tech we trust: the covetable new LG PuriCare mask

LG unveiled the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier in the middle of the coronaviru­s pandemic in 2020 – and when a limited number trickled their way into South Africa, VISI’s reviewer tried one on for size.

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South Korean electronic­s and appliance maker LG has come out with a futuristic-looking mask – the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier – to “resolve the dilemma of homemade masks being of inconsiste­nt quality and disposable masks being in short supply”. This straight-out-of-a-sci-fi-movie gadget has an eye-catching design that attracted lots of attention and questions every time we stepped out in public wearing it or posted about it on social media.

The PuriCare mask makes use of two H13 HEPA filters, similar to those being used in LG’s existing range of home air purifiers. It also features dual fans and a patented respirator­y sensor that allows the wearer to breathe in clean, filtered air. This makes it ideal for daily wear in cities like Johannesbu­rg, which have high levels of air pollution.

LG says the respirator­y sensor is smart enough to detect the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath, and adjusts its dual three-speed fans accordingl­y. The fans automatica­lly speed up to assist air intake, then slow down to reduce resistance when exhaling to make breathing effortless.

The wearable air purifier is ergonomica­lly designed, adjustable and comfortabl­e to wear for lengthy periods, although in this user’s experience, the size can take some getting used to. It fits snugly, minimising air leakage around the nose and chin, and does not feel claustroph­obic; in fact, it is somewhat cooling on the face. This hi-tech mask has an 820mAh battery that offers up to eight hours of use at low speed, and two hours on its highest setting.

We’re hoping LG officially brings the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier to South Africa this year. It costs US$1—180. lg.com

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