In some respects CES 2021 is a reflection of the last year in tech and lifestyle; with that in mind, we don't really need to explain why smart face masks were one of the many products shown off at the annual tech event.
The Active Plus from tech company AirPop isn't the first mouth cover to call itself a 'smart face mask', but it may be the first to deserve that title, as it has a few useful health features, as well as smartphone app integration.
We'll run you through the AirPop Active Plus features below, but you should know it's something that'll set you back quite a bit - the mask, as well as four filters that last for 40 hours each, will cost $149.99 / £149.99 (around AU$265) when it launches in February in the UK. We've contacted AirPop about availability elsewhere and will update this article when we find out.
- These are the best face masks for runners
- And these are the best UV phone sanitizers
- The Apple Watch 7 is coming soon
Smart face mask features
The AirPop Active Plus comes with a sensor designed by the company called the Halo, which you can see as the bumping-out bit in the photo above.
According to AirPop, this works with its smartphone app so you can monitor your own breathing habits and patterns, which can be useful for a range of health reasons, especially for people who have trouble breathing in face masks.
The sensor can also monitor any pollutants which the mask keeps away from your face, which could be really useful given the pandemic that's raging on, or for people in polluted areas. According to AirPop the mask will "block >99% PM0.3, including dust, allergens, particulate matter and microbial particles".
Sure, the Covid-19 pandemic is hopefully in its final act, but one of the lasting effects of it will probably be an increase in awareness of what germs we're spreading and breathing in. So even into the future, a smart face mask will likely be a good investment.
TechRadar hasn't tested out the AirPop Active Plus, so can't say for sure if it's worth your money or not, but you can find out more about the company at AirPop's website here (opens in new tab).
- Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2021 (opens in new tab) coverage. We're remotely covering the online-only show to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus a smattering of hands-on reviews.