Airpop is a pioneer in smart masks and brings with the Active + Halo a mouth and nose cover that should be able to do much more than protect the environment from Corona. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has tested the 150 euro waerable beforehand.
Mouth and nose covers, or simply masks for short, have become an essential part of our lives outside our own four walls. It was clear that sooner or later there would also be a smart mask with an app. This is coming to Germany at the beginning of March in the form of “Airpop Active + Halo”. For the high price, it also has a lot of functions and scope of delivery.
What the Airpop Active + Halo promises to buyers
The Airpop Active + Halo in an everyday test
In the practical test, the TECHNOLOGY BUTTON editorial team defined four areas on the basis of which the Airpop Active + Halo is examined. This gives an overall impression of the product and thus our conclusion.
Costs and sustainability
At first glance, you are struck by the high purchase price of 150 euros for the mask with the four filters. In return, users get a wearing period of 160 hours (40 hours per filter). Additional filters can be purchased in a pack of 4 for 25 euros.
Compared to FFP2 masks, which should be changed after a day, at least the filter prices do not come off badly. Assuming that you get 30 FFP2 masks for 25 euros and that you wear them for 4 hours each, you get 120 hours of wearing time compared to the 160 hours for the Airpop filters. In any case, Airpop will produce far less mask garbage. A 1-to-1 comparison of the costs is difficult, however, since FFP2 mask prices differ greatly.
AirPop’s filters also provide proven protection against bacteria and fine dust in the air. This is already the first indication of the actual purpose of the Airpop Active + Halo!
If you deduct the filters from the purchase price of 150 euros, 125 euros remain for the actual mask and the Halo sensor, which is powered by a button battery supplied. For a product made in the Far East with the present specifications, this is quite a steep price, but it can at least amortize itself with long use through the filters.
Setup, app and data protection
The setup of the mask worked without problems in the test, establish battery contact of the sensor, load the app, connect the mask via Bluetooth and set it up. Then scan the QR code on the filter bag so that the app can register how the filter is still holding up. When the sensor and filter are stored in the app, all you have to do is plug them into each other and off you go.
When it comes to data protection, we primarily consider what data the app collects. And here you have to say that you feel quite transparent. You log in with your own mobile phone number. An approach that pisses you off at first. The app also wants location access and, last but not least, also gets health data on top of it through the breath measurement. That’s a bit too much for us.
Carrying comfort and possible uses
This point is particularly important with the Airpop Active + Halo. Because, as you will soon notice, it is primarily not a matter of mouth and nose covering that FFP2 masks want to declare war. Rather, it is about wearing the mask in everyday life to protect yourself from air pollution and bacteria. The good news for small faces first: the straps can be adjusted in length.
Unfortunately, the mask didn’t fit really well in the test. This is of course very individual depending on the face and other opinions can also be found on the Internet. In our case, it felt like an inch or two is missing from the mask. This meant that the rubber ring on the inside of the filter in particular pulled the nose uncomfortably.
All in all, the protection against fine dust and bacteria is detrimental to wearing comfort.
According to the manufacturer, the smart functions are still in the optimization phase. A final judgment about the functionality can only be made with the release in March. As announced by the manufacturer, the respiratory tracker did not yet deliver any reliable results.
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If it then works, different activities can be selected via the app (iOS and Android), for example. The mask can be worn while jogging to measure breathing activity. So for athletes an optimization option. Since breathing is more difficult with the filter, it should be removed when exercising.
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Conclusion + video for Airpop Active + Halo
In the end, our test result was divided. The Airpop Active + Halo is innovative and actually also a useful health wearable. In Germany, however, the target group should be as sharp as possible. Here too you have to struggle with bad air, but not to the same extent as in countries for which the mask was developed.
Lumping Active + Halo together with corona masks does not only do it justice, but in the end only leads to confusion and, as the test shows, to disappointment. But if you want to protect yourself against bacteria and polluted air, you now have a Corona-compliant option to do so. In this respect: Nothing for the masses, but great for the individual.