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Health & Fitness

The world's first "smart" face mask measures pollution and more

AirPop Active+ is loaded with sensors to provide data on air quality and the wearer's health

AirPop Active + smart face mask on a woman in a city Credit: AirPop Health

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Among the most defining changes due to COVID-19 is that we’re all wearing face masks any time we leave our homes to slow the spread. In 2021, manufacturers will roll out innovative takes on this now-ubiquitous accessory—and Chinese company AirPop’s “smart” Active+ mask is among the most intriguing.

What is AirPop Active+?

AirPop just introduced the Active+ as “the world’s first smart air wearable.” This face mask, like AirPop’s other non-smart masks, features superior air filtration, blocking >99% PM0.3, including dust, allergens, particulate matter, and microbes. Its material is washable and the mask itself—the company’s “Active” model—creates a seal with the face and is dome-shaped, so it fits comfortably and can’t be sucked in during a deep inhale.

Where it differs is the embedded smart sensors that have dual purposes. First, they measure pollutant levels within the filter and the companion app cross-references with local pollution reports to let you know when it’s time to replace the filter. But secondly, the sensors measure and track biometrics related to your breathing rate during regular activity and exercise to provide data feedback related to your health and fitness.

Who could benefit from AirPop Active+?

It may seem like overkill both in features and price at $150, but face masks will no doubt remain a societal fixture. And Airpop Active+ could provide welcome peace of mind, especially in crowded urban areas or other places where pollution levels spike dramatically. For endurance athletes, it may also provide interesting insights as they train, and even incentivize them to wear a mask during runs or bike rides, a situation when masks are often a hindrance despite them being protective against inhalation of particulates.

Where can you buy AirPop Active+?

AirPop Active+ will be available in January 2021 via the company’s website, AirPopHealth.com, and rolling out at other retailers during the year.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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