LG’s air purifying face mask now comes with built-in mic and speakers
LG has updated its PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier mask by incorporating a microphone and speaker to make it easier to talk. The new device will appear first in Thailand in August with other parts of the world to follow.
Last year LG was one of the first big electronics companies to jump into the face mask game. Carefully avoiding direct references to COVID-19, the mask essentially transferred its PuriCare air purifying technology into a portable device.
The first iteration was basically a HEPA air purifier you can strap to your face. The newest version of the device is smaller, lighter and brings in a couple of vital new features to solve a big problem found in the original.
That big problem the original device encountered was the great difficulty in having conversations through such an encompassing mask. Early reports suggested voices were substantially muffled and some users had to pull down the mask to talk.
To overcome this LG has now incorporated a microphone and speaker into the device, amplifying a person’s voice when they are talking. A computerized system, dubbed VoiceON by the company, can detect when you are talking and amplify your voice while remaining switched off when you are just breathing normally. So hopefully there is no Darth Vader-style heavy breathing effect.
Other elements of the original device have also been optimized in this new version. The battery has been upgraded to 1,000mA while the overall weight of the device has dropped from 126 grams to just 94 grams.
As previously mentioned, there is no direct claim or evidence this mask offers protection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The HEPA filters in the mask have been found to remove 99.7 percent of viral particles but this is very carefully marketed as an air purifier and nothing else.
LG’s latest mask update isn’t the first electronic face mask to toy with microphone and speaker integration. Laptop company Razer revealed a unique smart mask concept earlier in the year. Its mask also featured a mic and speaker, alongside a transparent design and superfluous LED lights, for that full cyberpunk effect.
Razer’s mask certainly wins style points over LG but notably it has not hit the market yet, so if you are looking to actually buy one of these things the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier mask is your best bet. This new iteration from LG will initially launch in August in Thailand with other regions around the world following later this year.