Forget face masks — LG just launched a wearable air purifier

(Image credit: LG)

LG just announced a product that could replace all the other face masks around: A wearable air purifier that straps over your mouth and nose, and filters everything you breathe into clean air.

The LG PuriCare Wearable Purifier uses technology similar to the brand's larger home air purifiers. Fans and filters are enclosed in a face mask-shaped device that secures around your ears and covers the nose and chin area.

In an era where people around the world are wearing face masks for public and personal health, LG's wearable air purifier sounds more practical than apocalyptic — that is, if you're willing to wear it in public.

Its design, which LG says is "ergonomically designed based on extensive facial shape analysis," looks like something a movie character would wear as they traverse a dystopic, half-space half-atmosphere universe.  

But when we look past its menacing exterior, it seems like the PuriCare Wearable Purifier's two H13 HEPA filters, dual fans and patented respiratory sensor that automatically adjusts those fan speeds for up to 8 hours at a time could solve all our mask-related breathing complaints.

And keep us healthy, of course. The Wearable Purifier features UV-LED lights that kills harmful germs and will even notify you when your filter needs replacing.

Will wearable purifiers go mainstream?

There was a time where a wearable air purifier would've been called ridiculous.

In fact, at CES 2020, I included a product similar to the LG's wearable purifier called Atmos Facewear in our roundup of the weirdest gadgets from the show.

(Image credit: Atmos)

When the company behind the Atmos Facewear claimed its clear contraption way outflow prevents polluted, outside air from being inhaled, I wrote that I — and I quote — "fear a future where Atmos is required, both because of its distracting design and intended purpose."

Clearly the future came sooner than I, and most other people, expected.

Now, we're presented with a wearable air purifier from a leading electronics brand, and we're kind of... excited about it?

A device like LG's might not rid the planet of germs and virus particles, but it could help those living with compromised immune systems or other conditions that pose a health risk.

So if it takes strapping a Bane mask around our heads in public to keep people healthy, sign me up.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.