Battery-powered face mask seeks to fight COVID and foggy glasses

By Daewoung Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean company has invented a battery-powered filtered face mask designed to reduce annoying problems associated with conventional designs, such as breathing difficulties and fogged-up glasses.

LG Electronics' <066570.KS> PuriCare Wearable, which comes in one size and weighs as much as a pair of ski goggles, features two fans and high-efficiency particle air filters that clean air coming in and exhaled breath going out.

As authorities increasingly urge the public use of face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, manufacturers have turned their attention to making such gear more comfortable without compromising safety.

Among problems mask wearers face are breathing difficulties and fogged-up glasses as the warm breath escapes from the top of the mask toward the eyes.

"Breathing is the biggest concern when it comes to wearing a face mask and disposable masks come with a huge environment cost," Choi Yoon-hee, a senior official at LG Electronics' air solution product team, told Reuters.

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The mask comes with a case that charges the battery and disinfects the mask with UV light.

The device will be available in the fourth quarter in select markets. LG is yet to set a price.

LG said the mask has a battery life of about eight hours on low-power settings and two hours on its highest setting.

(Reporting by Daewoung Kim; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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