The COVID-19 pandemic has put the brakes on several labs and research projects around the world, but at the same time, it’s pushed several companies and researchers to develop technologies and gadgets to fight the virus.
As expected, a lot of pandemic-inspired gadgets and technologies, including smart masks, wearables to detect the virus, and sanitizing robots!
We’ve rounded up a list of some gadgets, unveiled at CES 2021, all aimed at protecting us from the coronavirus and minimizing its spread.
LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier
LG’s wearable air purifier features “dual fans and patented respiratory sensor that detects the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath and adjusts the dual three-speed fans accordingly. The fans automatically speed up to assist air intake and slow down to reduce resistance when exhaling to make breathing effortless.”
According to LG, it also comes with germ-killing UV-LED lights and a case that can charge the mask and send notifications to LG’s ThinQ to let users know when to change the filters. It has a battery that LG claims “offers up to eight hours of operation in low mode and two hours on high”. Get it online for about US$150. It’s available in Vietnam for VND 2,990,000.
Razer, a gaming company typically known for gaming hardware such as laptops, controllers, monitors and other gaming accessories, also threw its hat into the smart-mask ring at CES with Project Hazel, which they call “the world’s smartest mask”.
Before even looking at the hi-tech features the most striking thing about the mask is its design, which wouldn’t be entirely out of place at a 1990s rave. Promoted as a way to better improve social interaction while wearing a mask, Project Hazel has a transparent front so you can see the wearer’s lips. It also has a “low light mode” where the mask’s interior automatically lights up in customizable colors when it’s dark, so that the mouth is still visible. To further improve masked communication it has a microphone and amplifier to “ensure your speech isn’t muffled even when you’re masked up”.
It also has an “active ventilation” feature, which refers to the detachable and rechargeable ventilator on the side of the mask. According to Razer, the “ventilator regulates airflow and is capable of filtering at least 95% of airborne particles”. It comes with a charging case that has a UV light interior to kill bacteria and viruses as the mask charges. Unlike the other masks mentioned here, this one is still in the concept stage and Razer is yet to announce a release date.
MaskFone by Hubble Connected
Designed to help reduce the need to adjust or remove your face mask to speak on a mobile phone, MaskFone features replaceable PM2.5 and N95/FFP2 filters, a built-in microphone, and earphones. It is not an FDA approved product and not intended for use in a medical setting. The company also doesn’t make any claims of antimicrobial protection, antiviral protection, particulate filtration, or infection prevention or reduction. Equipped with multi-layered protection, three included PM2.5 filters and some quirky tech, this mask comes in different sizes and is currently priced at US$50.
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