After two-year delay, LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier released locally
While Korea is mulling lifting the indoor mask mandate, an electronic face mask was released in the country after a long delay due to regulatory hurdles.
LG Electronics released LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier on Thursday, two years after the electronic mask was first introduced overseas.
LG’s electronic mask is a face mask with air-purifying capabilities.
The local electronics maker began to sell the PuriCare mask in November 2020, in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It has been available in 23 countries since then, including Spain and Vietnam.
But on its home turf, the lack of safety regulations related to electronic masks held up the release for the past 25 months.
In June last year, LG Electronics applied for a so-called a regulatory sandbox to the Korea Institute for Advanced Technology. The regulatory sandbox system allows new products or technologies to be exempt from regulations to encourage innovation.
The preliminary safety guidelines finally came into effect last December, and LG Electronics acquired the license in September. The electronic mask can replace regular masks both indoors and outdoors.
Korea Air Cleaning Association also certified the mask as meeting functionality standards as an electrical mask.
Priced at 199,000 won ($151), the LG PuriCare mask weighs 123 grams.
Disposable filters, which are designed to be replaced once a month, are inserted in the mask to filter out harmful particles as small as 0.01 micrometers. Small fans on both the left and right sides of the mask help circulate air, making it easier to breathe.
Its main advantage over single-use masks is its reusability, enhanced comfort in breathing and lack of condensation for glasses wearers.
The mask has a built-in microphone and speaker so that users don’t have to pull it down to talk. It takes two hours for the battery to reach full charge, and it can last up to eight hours.
On Wednesday, Commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency Peck Kyong-ran announced that the government will ease the indoor mask-wearing rule as early as January next year, and by March at the latest.
BY PARK HAE-LEE, SHIN HA-NEE [email@example.com]