LG adds mic and speakers to its air-purifying mask, launching next month

Reduce Mask Muffling with Built-in Mic

LG has announced an updated version of its high-tech, air-purifying face mask, aptly named LG PureCare Wearable Air Purifier. The company hasn’t announced pricing or wider availability, but says PureCare will launch in Thailand next month “once approved by local regulators for other markets to follow.” Amid the ongoing pandemic and widespread air pollution, there is reason to think that there will be demand for such products.

LG first announced the mask last year, which uses replaceable air filters and built-in fans to filter the air. LG says the new version has a smaller and lighter motor, as well as built-in microphone and speakers that amplify the wearer’s voice. (The video of the original mask shows that it suppressed speech Quite effectively.) The latter technology, which LG is calling VoiceON, “automatically recognizes when users are talking and amplifies their voice through the built-in speaker.”

LG isn’t the first company to apply this kind of voice-amplification technology to face masks, with Razer’s Project Hazel Mask (which is due out in limited quantities later this year) offering a similar set-up. Razer’s mask also has LED lighting, so take that, LG.

The new LG PureCare Mask weighs 94 grams, has a 1,000mAh battery, and recharges via USB in two hours. LG claims it’s comfortable enough to wear for up to eight hours at a time, but no mask is really comfortable after a few hours in my experience.

Notably, LG is not claiming that the mask will protect against the novel coronavirus in any way, although it indicated that this was the case when it first announced the product. It is true that some air purifier filters catch the particles The size of the virus that causes COVID-19, but without scientific studies on this particular product or more details about the type of filter it uses, we cannot make any claims for its efficacy are and should not be. A mask is definitely better than no mask, and the best mask is the one you will happily wear.

Anyway, welcome to 2021: We’re having a special update on face masks right now.

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