USA TODAY US Edition

Pandemic changes the look of tech

- Brett Molina and Mike Snider Felicity Warner of Reviewed.com contribute­d to this report.

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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