While we all try to stay at home, it is unavoidable for most of us to go and carry out essential tasks and activities. In fact, having protective health equipment is more important than ever. Here at Gadget Pilipinas, we advocate the use of face masks because it really helps lessen the risk of contracting this deadly virus that has been killing millions of people.
Just in case you are not aware, tech consumer brands like LG, Philips, and even Razer have been very active in introducing new protective health equipment. One of the products that were introduced by Razer last CES was their state-of-the-art and “gamer-lifestyle”-focused face mask with voice amplifier and changer. That got me really excited – and in fact, once that officially releases, the first thing I would do is to try a Darth Vader voice on it. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, that hasn’t been launched yet and it might still take a few more months from now for consumers to get their hands on it. Thankfully, LG launched the second iteration of their Puricare, but this time sports a voice amplification feature.
What LG did is they took the best features of the first iteration to the upgraded version. It features a fully automatic fan airflow control system that increases breathing comfort, while also using two H13 HEPA Filters, the same found in premium air purifiers, to improve air quality. With an ultra-small and lightweight motor, the device’s DUAL fans work with LG’s airflow control technology which detects its user’s breathing pattern and adjusts airflow accordingly – to help the wearer breathe easier and more naturally. This also prevents a common problem for those wearing glasses along with a mask – their lenses fogging up when exhaling.
Its seamless, ergonomic design minimizes air leakage around the nose and chin, sealing gently but firmly to the wearer’s face. At just 94 grams, the device is comfortable to wear even for long periods of time and is perfect for everyday use.
To make it easier to communicate with others while wearing the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, LG has introduced its VoiceON technology, employing a microphone and a speaker built into the device itself. VoiceON helps clearly project the user’s voice so they can be heard and understood without issue.
What’s in the Box?
Before I tell my experience about this, here’s everything you can find inside the box – the new LG Puricare Mask with Voice On, two H13 HEPA filters (that you can replace once a month), 1 piece face guard, 30 pieces Inner Cover (which is best to replace at least once a day or as needed) and an ear strap and extender, and a carrying pouch.
Unfortunately, the Face Guard and Inner covers only fit the new LG Puricare Mask. This means that you cannot use your old accessories for the version. I guess this is just a small price to pay for a device that really protects you from the risk of contracting the disease.
Installing the accessories is a breeze. You just have to put the HEPA filters to the new hidden valves of the Puricare Mask. The next thing you need to do is to install an inner cover and put on the Face Guard for maximum comfort. The faceguard has magnets, which will allow you to latch it easily on the Puricare Mask.
Turning on the mask changed quite a bit. Fan speed is from low, medium to high. To turn it on, you have to press and hold the switch until you hear a single beep. Pressing it will increase and decrease the speed of the fans. If you’re wondering how you can turn on the Voice On technology, it is automatically turned on when the fans are set to medium. Unfortunately, there is neither a way to further increase its volume nor turn it on while the fans are set to low or high. There is also no way for you to change or put any effects on its microphone. Do not think of this as something that will allow you to pull off a “Darth Vader”.
The Voice On technology, despite its limitations, is a very important improvement on the new LG Puricare. Voice pick-up has around 500ms delay, which is definitely acceptable. This means that if you want whatever you want to say to be heard, be sure to have an initial “voice pick-up” sound like “Uhm….” or “Ah…”, which will give the microphone on the mask some time to pick-up whatever you want to say.
In terms of filtration, I have high confidence that medical and protection standards are set and followed on the filters used on the mask. This is not an affordable mask, to say the least, and it would be a shame if its performance is lower than the experience I’ve had with the first generation.
A Smart Mask
Respiratory regulation is one of the key aspects of this smart mask thanks to its dual inverter with the respiratory sensor. It smartly understands the volume of air needed to provide the optimum airflow for the user. I kid you not – breathing with this mask on is one of the things that I really appreciate. In fact, it can handle up to a maximum of 55 liters per minute of air volume.
In terms of battery performance, this can go up to a maximum of 8 hours of usage from a full charge. Fully charging it around 2 hours. It is also good to note that at the time of this writing, LG has not yet launched the dedicated mobile app that would allow users to tweak the mask’s settings. According to LG, the app is slated to be launched sometime this October 2021.
Availability and Price
Now, let’s talk about price and availability – as I mentioned before, this isn’t an affordable price. However, affordability is a relative term especially when we’re talking about features and benefits you can get from a particular product. While other masks can definitely satisfy or meet certain user-needs, I believe that everything that this new Puricase mask presents warrants the PhP9,799 it asks for.