You Need A Mask
So we’re all wearing masks now. Remember when it was just a few people because they had a cold or were concerned about dust/pollen in the air? Those days are past and wearing a mask is now a humdrum part of life that took some getting used to. But once the initial “shock” wore off and masks started to proliferate, people turned to looking past the obvious of a piece of cloth or some other material covering their face and looking into what exactly that mask could do for them. That led to a lot of fun and cool designs on masks but didn’t answer the real question: what exactly could a mask do for controlling and perfecting the air coming in. Not to mention making it more useful in a “smart” kind of way. So this has led to the AIRPOP Active+ Halo Smart Mask, the world’s first Airwearable for IPhone and Android. Or to put it in simpler terms, a “smart” mask that performs the job of letting you breathe better quality air as well as help you understand exactly what is going on with that air.
The Mask Must Fit
AIRPOP is at its core a mask and why should that come as a surprise? It’s made from a single piece of fabric and so there’s no stitching or seams mucking up the shape or getting in the way of a clean design that can be better contoured for the face it’s going to be getting on (it also makes for less weight which doesn’t hurt one bit). It looks fairly conventional with the exception of a sensor ring on one corner. Now that’s not the end of it — you’re going to be putting a filter into this mask so obviously that shape has to be a bit rigid to hold everything properly. But because of this the makers had the opportunity to mold the mask’s form so that it doesn’t lie flat over the face — pushing against the nose and generally creating a miserable feeling for those with or without glasses— but instead creates a canopy effect all around. It’s called a TPE engineered seal for the engineer-heads, but for the rest of us it just means that a 3D design results in a workable shape engineered to better conform to the persons face. For sure you are going to know you are wearing a mask, but its presence is a lot less intrusive than otherwise would be the case. And that it stands out a bit doesn’t hurt because who can’t use a little positive reinforcement from the crowd?
The Filter Does Its Job
Now as to that filter — 3 are included and more are available to acquire from their POP store — some specifics are in order and jumping the gun a bit it’s not going to be like a refrigerator water filter where you have to keep track in your head when to replace it because....again we’ll get there in a bit. So the filter is of a two layer nano-fiber core that is electrostatically charged to block fine particulate matter, with a dust/dirt repellant outer layer. Got that? What it means to us is besides handling the general environmental crap in the air heading our way, the filter is going to be 99%+ PM 2.5 efficient (as in a general protection measure due to filtering fine particulate matter up to 2.5 µm in size). And even better, getting the filter in position and in use provides about 40 hours before it needs replacing. So do you need a stopwatch to keep track of time and to review the filter after every use to see what it’s done (if you can even see anything)? No, because here comes the “smart” part and the iOS/Android part we mentioned earlier.
The App Does Its Job
There’s an app for doing all that. Specifically the app, once downloaded, integrates with the mask’s sensor to do things. Such as tracking the filter life so you can know when it’s time to chuck it for another. Or focus in on how you’re breathing while wearing the mask to make sure you’re not cutting the air short (air’s free but only if you’re getting a lungful). So when you start to breath the app knows it and syncs up; an inhale/exhale LED ring showing the breath rate along with real-time or background passive modes. A profile dashboard displays protection levels (real-time) and tracks breathing during activities and with location tracking. Scary part (for some) is that the app will get smarter over time, if you opt in to share, modes of transport, routing and breathing behaviors. All this comes after you’ve run though the app’s setup so it can sync with the sensor (which uses a conventional button battery that might need replacing after 6 months) and sync with you. Both the iOS and Android app are similar in intent and functionality so it's just a matter of pairing the mask with it.
So really there’s only two things you must do right are 1)inserting the filter correctly and 2)getting the mask on correctly; with the first only needing a one time operation and the second requiring a little more time to acclimate to positioning it right — at which time it maintains itself and doesn’t have enough weight to drag at the ears or make you want to get it off as fast as possible. Obviously you’ll want to wash it now and then, which it can since it’s water resistant by design. Just remember to remove the sensor first.
The AIRPOP Active+ Halo Smart Mask comes with three filters and needs your having a smartphone and having downloaded the app. To get more details, go to https://www.airpophealth.com/us/