The Gadgets That Will Help You Combat Air Pollution and Breathe … – MUO – MakeUseOf

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Air quality can have significant health effects, and these types of technology will help you breathe cleaner air.
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's… a gazillion tiny particles of dust, smoke, and other pollutants? The air you're breathing simply isn't as pristine as you'd like. However, as the world plunges headfirst into a warmer, more forest-fiery future, technology may be coming to your respiratory rescue.
Let's take a deep breath and explore some gadgets that are designed to combat air pollution, making your every breath a little easier and cleaner. And no, we're not talking about gas masks or biohazard suits (at least not for another decade or so).
While air pollution might seem like an abstract concept, it is a reality that affects everyone. This invisible enemy is often a cocktail of different pollutants, including black carbon (mainly from vehicle emissions) and ammonium (from fertilizer and livestock).
Then there's the complex mixture of pollution caused by the increasing number of wildfires. This mixture includes sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, fine particulate matter, and ozone.
Particulate matter (PM), tiny particles much smaller than a grain of sand, can travel deep into your lungs and even enter your bloodstream. Pollution from vehicle exhaust contributes to respiratory problems while smog found in big cities can exacerbate asthma and other lung conditions.
While the mix may vary, the health implications of these pollutants are consistent—and consistently concerning.
Several companies are at the forefront of the smart mask revolution. One of them is AirPop, makers of the Active(+) Smart Mask. Far from your standard medical mask, this reusable device claims to filter out more than 98% of pollutants. It also syncs with your smartphone to monitor your breathing behavior, track the pollutants you've dodged, and even remind you when to replace the filter.
To use it, simply put it on, sync it with the AirPop app on your smartphone, and voila! Your personal air quality management system is up and running.
Other manufacturers have made masks smart by adding additional technical features. Consider the MaskFone, a smart mask that integrates earbuds into the mask itself. You can be out jogging on a smoggy morning, your mask filtering out pollutants, your favorite tunes playing, and no tangled earbud wires in sight.
This device features a replaceable N95 filter and a built-in microphone so that you can take calls clearly without removing your mask. Who knew breathing clean air could sound so good?
There are various air quality monitors, each with its own selling points. Some are designed to remain in your home or office while others are wearable, like the Atmotube Pro. This gadget is a personal air pollution monitor you can clip onto your bag, belt, or bike, turning you into an on-the-go air quality lab.
The Atmotube Pro tracks a wide array of pollutants and sends real-time air quality updates to your smartphone. From volatile organic compounds to particulate matter such as dust, pollen, and soot, this gadget has got it covered.
This device can also alert you to potential air quality issues before you find yourself in a coughing fit. Using the companion app, you can then analyze your exposure to air pollution with real-time and cumulative data.
Whether you're planning your jogging route or looking for a well-ventilated cafe, having instant air-quality data at your fingertips can be a game-changer. Need to check the air quality in a pinch? These apps can inform you of the local air quality, helping you make informed decisions about your outdoor activities.
Thankfully, if you're just chilling at home, you don't have to attach a gadget to your clothing or even your face. Devices such as the Coway Airmega 400 can stand guard to filter out any pollutants that dare to infiltrate your sanctuary.
With its Green True HEPA™ filter, the Conway Airmega claims to be able to remove 99.98% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and more than 99.999% of all airborne contaminants down to 0.01 microns in size.
So, how does it work? The Airmega sucks in your room's air, cleans it, and spits it back out cleaner than before. It's a cycle that happens silently—and quickly—in the background. It can purify over 1,500 square feet in just 30 minutes.
Couple this with smart features like air quality sensors, filter lifetime indicators, and energy-saving modes, and you've got yourself something that might not make your morning coffee but will ensure that each breath you take with that coffee is cleaner.
Other air purifiers can offer advanced levels of intelligence. For example, the Filtret smart air purifier can be connected to your smartphone. By doing so, this device can provide you with real-time information about the air quality in your home or office, even sending alerts when the air quality drops below a certain level.
When it spots a spike, it springs into action, cranking up your air purifier to tackle the problem.
Other smart devices offer their own air quality monitoring features. For example, by using Google's Nest Hub, you can enable an Air Quality option, which will display the quality of air in your locality.
Even Samsung has gotten in on the action by allowing you to control everything in your home from thermostats to air purifiers using their SmartThings platform.
When you combine smart home systems with the other tech marvels we've explored, air pollution doesn't stand a chance. Of course, you can always dive deeper and learn more about how these systems work and whether you need one.
From smart masks to home systems, technology is truly breathing new life into the fight against air pollution.
Thanks to these high-tech companions, you can strut down your streets with newfound confidence. You can go about your daily routines, knowing that each breath you take is cleaner, healthier, and kinder to your lungs. After all, as pollution is bound to get worse before it gets better, it's not just about surviving in an era of air pollution anymore; it's about thriving despite it.
Sean is a long-time tech-enthusiast and early adopter who enjoys keeping up with the latest technological advances. He focuses on exploring how tech such as wearables and AI are impacting people’s health and wellbeing. He has a master’s degree and, before writing for MakeUseOf, spent time as a technology instructor. He’s been writing about technology for over 10 years. When he’s not at his standing desk, you’ll find him on the volleyball court or on a mountain.


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