Finally, a Useful Wearable for Our Smog-Filled Dystopian Future


All the air pollution monitoring and alerts in the world won't actually protect you from breathing it in when you have to go out in it. But this product might.

We've come a long way toward a better understanding and measuring of air pollution, and can now buy various air sensors and air quality apps to help us schedule (or avoid) certain outdoor activities, as well as air purifiers for cleaning up our indoor air. However, we still have to go out of our homes to go to work, to school, or to run errands, and when we do, we're still vulnerable to the effects of breathing polluted air. Of course, we can always wear a respirator-type air mask and look like we're on the HAZMAT cleanup team, but what if we don't want to appear like an extra on a dystopian sci-fi movie?

French startup WAIR has the answer, or at least one of them, with its anti-pollution scarf that is said to protect you "with style" from the main pollutants in the air, thanks to its triple-layer filtration system that stops micro particles down to the PM>0.1 size. It's designed to be not only functional when wearing it over your face, but also stylish when it's not. The WAIR is targeted at cyclists, who are often the ones breathing heavily in traffic and on the street, but it could be a helpful accessory for pedestrians as well.

WAIR anti-pollution scarf


Here's the scoop on the WAIR:

The WAIR will come in three sizes and three styles, with a variety of colors and prints planned, and made from "eco-certified fabrics." The filter needs to be changed every couple of months, and can be removed from the scarf in order to launder the scarf material, and an accompanying app, Supairman, will notify users when the filter needs to be changed, as well as inform users about their local air quality. A forthcoming higher-tech version, currently just a prototype, will also include a battery-operated fan that will channel fresh air into the scarf.

The product is now available for pre-order at prices ranging from about $57 to $92, with deliveries expected in the spring of 2017.