Awareness of the risks related to air quality is growing, driving a new wave of products that allow health-conscious consumers – particularly those in urban cities – to better monitor air pollution. With allergy season upon us, Stylus rounds up the latest innovative devices that track, monitor and clean the surrounding air.
- Lifestyle-Driven Aesthetic: Unlike traditional devices that trap pollutants in a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter, the Molekule Air Purifier, designed by San Francisco-based company Molekule and its London-based partner PostlerFerguson, breaks down allergens, mould, bacteria and viruses at their molecular level. Elegant and minimalist, the almost silent, standalone appliance uses a nanoparticle-coated filter, and is made from aluminium with a sophisticated leather handle, making it easy to move. Although equipped with an in-built touchscreen display, Molekule can also be controlled with an app when connected to wi-fi, allowing it to learn and control interior air levels.
- Portable Purification: Portability is the new norm for air purifiers, as Californian start-up Wynd Technologies demonstrates with its water-bottle-sized gadget suitable for homes and offices alike. The Wynd portable purifier claims to create a bubble of clean air around the user, wherever they are. Its integrated smart air quality system monitors and cleans air according to need – such as when pollution reaches dangerous levels or smoke is detected. Lightweight and compact, Wynd informs users about what's in the air and how much it has cleaned, as well as warning if air quality changes. It raised almost six times its Kickstarter funding goal.
- On-the-Go Cleaning: Air Halo was motivated by the 2003 Sars virus epidemic in Hong Kong – a city where extremely high pollution also poses major health risks to city residents. Air Halo is a palm-sized air sanitiser powered by filterless Plascide, an innovative plasma technology that destroys germs, bacteria and volatile organic compounds – carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. The device is cordless and portable and, like Wynd, promises to provide a clean bubble of air around consumers on the move.
With city regulations being slow to address pollution, technology is moving further away from integrated home systems and towards smart solutions for everyday spaces. Air purifiers are becoming increasingly aesthetically driven, smarter and easy to transport.
For more on innovative design solutions addressing environmental health and wellbeing, see Product Defence: Enhancing Wellness, while AiryLight: Pollution-Sensitive Light explores a more playful and poetic integration of tracking air pollution via lighting designs.