Face masks go high-tech with built-in air sensors, HEPA filters and space-like designs

Tech Trends

(NEXSTAR) – Before coronavirus, many of us only saw face masks at the doctor’s office. These days, they’re everywhere, and available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns.

Now, they’re going high-tech, too!

Pandemic-related tech was a big theme at this year’s CES 2021, a major tech conference. Here are a few notable new high-tech masks:

Nexvoo Breeze, $79

The Nexvoo Breeze is packed with protection but doesn’t hide your face. It’s a clear mask with two built-in electronic fans with even more filtration than N95s. According to company materials, they are rated N99.

Breeze is a bit tricky to get situated on your face, I had some trouble adjusting the straps just right. It comes with 30 extra filters along with a dual USB charging cable for the built-in fans.

AirPop Active+ Halo Smart Mask, $150

AirPop Active+ Halo is a smart mask with a built-in sensor that sends data to a companion app.

It can give you a look at your breathing patterns, the pollutants being blocked by the mask and when it’s time to replace the filter.

Air x MicroClimate, $300

This is probably the most outrageous mask of the bunch. It looks like something an astronaut would wear!

The Air by MicroClimate is the ultimate wearable since the dome-shaped “super mask” covers your entire head. At the same time, the clear covering on the front lets people see your entire face.

“Ninety percent of our communication is happening with the rest of our face … when you cover it … you lose that,” explained Daniel Boyer, Chief Marketing Officer at MicroClimate via a Zoom interview.

To stay comfortable and (mostly) fog-free, there are four built in HEPA filters and two fans.

“Wind, cold temperature, humidity, it creates a comfort. The world is harsh,” said Boyer, who sees life for the Air even after the pandemic.

The device is comfortable to wear, as long as it’s charged up and the fans are running. It’s certainly a conversation starter.

But will it work on a plane? MicroClimate says it satisfies all of the requirements for a face mask, but results may vary depending on the airline.

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