The latest Covid tech from CES

Face masks with fans and wearable air purifiers on offer

Covid has loomed large over CES 2022 for a number of reasons.

First, there were cancellations, with companies pulling out of in-person attendance or drastically scaling back their plans in the face of the rapidly spreading Omicron Covid-19 variant. Then there was the announcement that CES would shut its doors a day earlier than initially planned, ending on January 7th instead of the 8th. And those that did make it to Las Vegas needed to show proof of vaccination, plus a negative test 24 hours prior to entry to the event. Masks are also a requirement on the show floor.

But Covid has also made its way into the technology that is being displayed at CES, with everything from high-tech masks to air purifiers and disinfection technologies on display.

Airxom Active Mask

French company Airxom has brought its respiratory mask to Eureka Park at CES, claiming to be the first active mask for "total respiratory protection". The mask claims to deal with everything from pollution and infectious agents to fine particles and volatile organic compounds – and yes, Covid gets name-checked a few times.

It not only filters both incoming and outgoing breath, it also destroys any particles it traps through the use of UV rays on a catalyst, and decontaminates itself with biocidal properties on one filter and a photocalytic second filter.

It certainly looks like a serious piece of kit, although Airxom claims it is breathable and lightweight, and comes with a similarly hefty price tag – $340 (€299).

Lumix-UV

US-based Lumix UV is tackling the issue of safer surfaces, with a new sanitising solution for point-of-sale terminals. It uses UV light to disinfect terminals after each use, reducing the likelihood of spreading germs that could cause illness. It works like this: when the terminal is used and customer has finished their transaction, the Lumix-UV systems passes built-in UVC LED lights over the terminal to disinfect the surfaces.

When Covid is hopefully a distant memory, we may still appreciate this one.

Aeronest

Another mask-focused device but less serious looking is the Aeronest. This is small metal fan that clips to your existing N95 or surgical mask, and draws fresh air into your mask. It says it does this without altering the structure of the mask, or damaging its integrity, and deals with all those complaints about your face heating up or glasses fogging.

Ible

If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, it’s the importance of clean air. Ible is one company that is focusing on helping people to have purer air around them no matter where they go. Not only does the company have a range of wearable air purifiers – including one aimed at Hello Kitty fans – but it also has built an air purifier into a set of headphones. The Airvida E1-Wearable ionic air purifier X Earphones will also send you a reminder to regularly sanitise your air. The earphones are noise cancelling too, so you block out the outside world and get on with your work in peace.

3Oe Scientific

if you’ve never heard of aqueous ozone technology, you’re in good company. But 3Oe Scientific is apparently a leader in it, and to demonstrate its expertise, it has created Iggy. Already in use in some schools in the US, Iggy is apparently going to re-imagine how people wash their hands, because the old way needed a bit of tweaking. It creates a natural disinfectant through a mini generator and mechanical water forces to pour ozonated water over your hands, disinfecting them in about seven seconds. It means no harsh chemicals, no soap, and no rubbing, and it all fits in a water cooler-sized device.