LAS VEGAS — A French start-up wants to do the seemingly impossible: make pollution masks look chic.
At International CES Unveiled, WAIR shared its upcoming line of connected scarves that serve as both an accessory and an air-filtration mask.
WAIR says the mini turbine inside its air purification boxes filter out 99% of pollutants, including gases and bacteria. Its WAIR Active range also connects to the company’s SUPAIRMAN app, which it says provides updates on air quality in the wearer’s area.
CEO and cofounder Caroline Van Renterghem told Mashable that her interest in pollution mask alternatives began back when she was still riding her bicycle each day through Paris to her job in the fashion industry. When she began experiencing respiratory issues, a doctor warned her that exposure to air pollution was causing her health issues. Dissatisfied with masks available on the market, she began wrapping scarves around her nose and mouth during rides to work. From there, the idea for WAIR was born.
Now, Renterghem says she aims to make wearing respiratory protection as standard a practice as wearing a helmet is for bike riders.
Still in the prototype stages, the company’s non-connected WAIRone filtration masks are currently available for pre-order in European markets and will ship this spring, while the connected WAIR Active range is set to launch this summer.