The CES in Las Vegas, the important technology fair at the beginning of the year, has brought several novelties, such as the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy S21. But there is no doubt, and with the global pandemic on top, that many of the devices presented had a clear health orientation. Good proof of this are the smart masks, an invention whose purpose is to ensure the correct quality of the air we breathe.
Smart masks, fashion or necessity?
MaskFone, nothing to write home about
The first proposal is the one that is perhaps having the most traction, it has been baptized with the name of MaskFone and that you can buy for practically € 50. This is a cloth mask with a filter that provides FFP2 protection, which appears to be a good measure of protection.
But now comes the fun, this mask has headphones and a built-in microphone, and controls on the outside of it to be able to advance or rewind songs. Namely, nothing you can’t do with your normal mask and your own wireless headphones.
To tell the truth, the mask has a fairly neutral design and is very elegant, but perhaps its price is high, since we do not know what the quality of the headphones is, and the mask’s own resistance. The business comes later, since the replacement of the filters has a price of € 20.
Today, it is possible to get FFP2 masks that offer the same protection for much less money. Are we facing a posture mask? Yes, without a doubt.
LG PuriCare Air Purifying
The Korean manufacturer already has a proposal available in Spain that, a priori, it is much more interesting than the previous one, although it must be said that it also has a much higher price.
In the form of a conventional mask, although somewhat more cumbersome, there is an air purifier with HEPA 13 filters and built-in fans to move air. Here if there seems to be a fairly deep technological work. From the manufacturer itself, it is ensured that it protects against 99% of bacteria and viruses. It will be available in Spain from February 1.
As a favorable point, perhaps it should be noted that it offers authentic protection, and that thanks to the built-in fans the annoying effect of the fogging of glasses.
However, it should be noted that the mask has a weight of 126 branches, what after a while can be annoying. In the same way, the fans always connected, although they are quite silent, they are still a nuisance. The mask’s battery has a charging time of two hours, and provides between four and eight hours of autonomy depending on the speed at which we have the fans.
The price of the HEPA filters, which last a month with up to 10 hours of daily use, is 12 euros for 2 units, and the internal filter, which lasts a maximum of one week, has a cost of € 12 for 30 units. The mask itself has a price of € 150, to which we have to add another € 120 if we want to buy its cover. This accessory also has LED lights that, according to the manufacturer, eliminate the germs that have remained in the mask. Reality or fiction?
AirPop, another proposal
The last mask that has been presented at CES is the AirPop, which is nothing more than a mask with an internal filter and which has to be replaced when the application that we have installed on the mobile tells us. This mask has a sensor that connects via bluetooth to our phone, and that indicates, among other parameters, when is the time to change the filter, every 40 hours, in order to guarantee good air quality. Also measure your breathing and your temperature.
This mask will be available next February and has a starting price of about $ 150, still not knowing what will be the amount that we must pay in Europe. The prices of the filters are variable, but they oscillate on the 15 dollars the pair.
So, need or posture? Can a smart mask do something for your health? Perhaps if in the case of the LG air purifier, which is proposed as the bravest bet and which provides something more that the others do not have, the HEPA filter.
However, there is no better protective measure than changing your usual disposable mask with the appropriate frequency. In addition, do not touch it with dirty hands and always keep a safe distance. Everything that is added may be fine, but it is not absolutely necessary to have any of these smart masks to further protect your health. Remember that protection always starts with yourself.