To make an ideal personal air filter, said Mikal Peveto, you'd need a seal around your face. The head of US for Aō Air is presenting an alternative at CES: the Atmōs. The device uses small fans to create a high-pressure pocket of clean air at the front of a mask that you breathe from, no seal necessary.
The transparent device goes over your mouth, with air drawn in just below your ears, where there are also sensors that measure one's respiration rate. The goal is to take it to consumers -- tonight, in fact. It'll be available for pre-order for $350, shipping in July of this year.
Peveto told Engadget the company was targeting regular consumers to wear outdoors when they're away from their home or office filtration systems.
But we can't ignore the obvious bulk. It's a 256g hunk of plastic, fans and sensors on your face. When Engadget Editor-in-Chief Dana Wollman tried Atmōs, she found it heavy and noted that it pinched her nose.
Peveto described how low-tech masks can be a normal part of life in certain cities in Asia, especially those with poor air quality, and he seemed optimistic that people would be receptive to the size of the device. Aō Air has plans to shrink the mask down, Peveto said, noting the large size of the original iPod as an example. "It's 50 times better [than a regular mask]. Think about the first generation of anything."