What you need to know
- Wearable maker Huami has announced plans of making a reusable transparent mask with a self-cleaning feature.
- Users will have to connect the mask to a power supply through a USB port to disinfect the filter inside the mask.
- Called Aeri, the mask will be aimed at the mass consumer market and provide protection against viruses as well as air pollution.
Huami, the maker of Xiaomi's popular Mi Bands and Amazfit smartwatches, has revealed that it is working on a reusable transparent plastic mask with a self-disinfecting feature. In a phone interview with TechCrunch, the company said that the mask will be equipped with ultraviolet lights that will disinfect the filter inside in ten minutes when it is connected to a power supply through a USB port.
The mask, which is called Aeri, will feature user-replaceable filters that will apparently be on par with N95 filtration capacity. Since the filter can be sanitized by the built-in ultraviolet lights, each filter is expected to last up to 90 days, which is significantly higher than the average life of N95 respirators currently available.
Aeri's modular design will also make it possible to add customized accessories such as a fan for greater breathing comfort. Its most significant advantage, however, will be its transparent design, which will make it possible for people to unlock their phones using facial recognition.
Huami is currently in the process of prototyping Aeri and will likely go on sale early next year. It is planning to target the "mass consumer market" around the world with the self-disinfecting mask, so there is a good chance that it will be relatively affordable. In addition to viruses, Aeri is claimed to provide protection against everyday air pollution as well.