Kaltech MyAir Personal Air Purifier Review: A Wearable Device for the Truly Paranoid
take a look
small and portable
Very long battery life.
Processing 7 liters of air per minute doesn’t seem shocking
Processed air has a characteristic odor
There are no smart features of any kind.
This portable air purifier has a mere fraction of the power of a standard unit and feels woefully inefficient.
With the launch of the Kaltech MyAir, we may have reached the pinnacle of the purifier. A cigar-shaped tube weighing just 2.7 ounces and measuring 4.5 inches long, this small device is designed to be worn around the neck, purifying the air in your immediate environment, absorbing nasty germs and pollution before they can reach your nose. or mouth.
The device can reportedly process up to 7 liters of air per minute, using a photocatalytic filter and LED light (not UV light) to clean the air instead of a traditional HEPA-style filtration unit. The process is similar to that used by ionizing devices.
My natural instinct is that wearing a miniature purifier around the neck is not an effective way to dodge disease and pollution, but Kaltech says the product has been scientifically tested by Nihon University School of Medicine against COVID-19, saying : “In a World First, photocatalytic technology was shown to suppress the infectivity of airborne novel coronavirus below detection levels through the use of photocatalytic technology.” (That said, the unit was tested running on a 120 liter chamber for a full 20 minutes).
The product manual in the box might include other tests, but my test unit included instructions written entirely in Japanese. Note that I received this review unit in December; It hasn’t been officially released in the US, though it was shown off publicly during CES, where the company said it would be available for sale in early 2022.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart air purifiers, where you’ll find reviews of competing offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to features to consider when purchasing this type of product.
The good news is that the manual is not necessary, since there is not much in the device. It can be charged directly through a USB-C cable or through a docking station that connects to the same USB-C cable. The company says that the unit can be charged in 4 hours and the on-board battery can run for 8 hours. My tests achieved over 11 hours of runtime, although I did find that it was prone to losing its charge when idle. A single button turns it on and off; there is no fan speed control or wireless connectivity. In addition to the charging base, a neck strap, pocket clip, and the aforementioned USB-C charging cable are included. The device is also available in your choice of three colors.
While I can’t say if the Kaltech MyAir actually eliminates COVID on any significant scale (a typical room purifier can process 6,000 liters of air per minute or more, compared to MyAir’s 7 liters), I can say that it does put out a slight breeze. of air that, when used as directed, hits you sharply on the chin. Purified air has a certain smell (between grass and metal), which is a trait you’ll find in many ionizer-style devices. Even after weeks of use, the smell didn’t dissipate, which is particularly bad when blowing right under the nose.
In the fight against COVID, everything helps, particularly when you’re in tight spaces like a bus or plane, but it’s hard to imagine the $124 MyAir (the company says it will be priced under $200 when it arrives). to the US) moves the needle in any measurable way. Not to mention: as a fashion statement, it’s an even tougher sell.
Christopher Null is a veteran technology and business journalist. He is a regular contributor to TechHive, PCWorld, and Wired, and operates the Drinkhacker and Film Racket websites. Disclosure: He also writes for Hewlett-Packad’s TechBeacon marketing website.