ATMOBLUE is a compact air purifier that one can wear like a breathing mask. The project is already a few years old and it was conceived as a solution for people living in polluted asian megalopolies. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the ATMOBLUE has experience a new resurgence in interest from the public, with a couple of successful funding campaigns on crowdfunding websites. The mask implements a couple of replaceable HEPA filters, which can stop 99,97% of air particulates, all sorts of pollens, and even germs. The air is forced through the filters with two small and silent fans, which help ease the breathing in of fresh air, while the filters installed need to be replaced after 150h of continuous usage. The mask won’t be cheap, as it will sell for around 200$. While maybe it’s a bit too much for just protecting against Coronavirus transmission, it could be potentially life-changing for heavily allergic individual in the spring and summer.
Dyson has recently announced the winner of the 2019 edition of its coveted James Dyson Award. The prize went to Lucy Hughes, a student at University of Sussex, who came up with MarinaTex, a novel kind of plastic film made from fishing waste. The translucent plastic film can be used to create home compostable plastic bags to be used in the food industry to package baked goods, fresh fruit or produce. Compared to many other kind of bioplastics, MarinaTex-based products can easily compost in 4 to 6 weeks in a food recycling bin or composter. Moreover, they don’t need high amounts of energy to be produced, as the production process involves temperatures way below 100 degrees. For MarinaTex to become a commercially viable product, more research into material performance and mass manufacturing will be needed.
Along with MarinaTex, Dyson awarded two runner-up inventions, Afflo and Gecko Traxx. Afflo is an AI-based wearable device for asthma sufferers that can detect individual symptoms with a good accuracy and match them with external triggers, a procedure that’s currently done only empirically, via trial and error. Gecko Traxx is a special set of inexpensive rubber wheels that add off-road capabilities to any wheelchair, enabling the user to access otherwise impervious areas, such as beaches and uneven terrain.