AirPop earlier this month announced that it’s launching a new smart mask that’s supported by a mobile app. Dubbed the AirPop Active+ Smart Mask, this mask uses AirPop’s Halo sensor to provide feedback about users’ breathing habits and filter quality.
As you might expect, though, the fact that this is a smart mask hikes the price of it rather significantly, so if you want to own one yourself, get ready to pay far more than you would for a traditional mask.
The Active+ was revealed as part of their CES 2021 show, and while it looks more or less like a regular fabric mask that we reviewed here, that little knob on the front is where the Halo sensor is stored.
AirPop says that the Halo sensor is powered by a coin-cell battery that can last for up to six months before it needs to be replaced. The Halo sensor connects to Android or iOS devices through Bluetooth, and the health data it collects can be shared with Apple HealthKit.
The sensor is capable of tracking fitness metrics like breaths per minute and breaths per pace, but it can also track which pollutants have been filtered out. That data is surfaced in the AirPop app, and the app can also tell users when it’s time to change the filter, which snaps in behind the mask’s fabric.
AirPop says that each filter blocks “>99% PM0.3, including dust, allergens, particulate matter and microbial particles.” Each filter also comes with a QR code that users scan using the app to ensure that the filter is indeed a genuine one. In that way, these QR codes could potentially serve as a form of DRM too, ensuring that users are prompted to only use filters made by AirPop in their masks.
In any case, it’s certainly interesting to see a smart mask pop up, but as we alluded to at the beginning of this article, such fancy tech is going to set you back a significant amount – more than R2000 if our rand/dollar exchange figures serves us correct.
Core Group, the official distributors of Airpop products in South Africa says that the Active+ should be available in Mzansi towards the end of the quarter.