Manufacturer Mi Band will release a self-disinfecting transparent mask to protect against COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the intensification, and even the emergence, of many Chinese companies manufacturing equipment to combat viruses. For example, BYD, a car manufacturer from Shenzhen, promptly started to launch The world’s largest mask factory. Based in Hangzhou AI startup Rokid, started to produce thermal imaging glasses for the US market.

Huami, whose shares are listed on the NASDAQ exchange, manufactures Xiaomi Mi Band fitness tracker, and also sells smart watches under the Amazfit brand in more than 70 countries. Now representatives of the company said that the company is developing a transparent plastic mask with built-in ultraviolet lamps. By connecting to the power source via the USB port, its filters can be disinfected in just 10 minutes.

However, the lamps only disinfect the inside of the mask, and users will still have to clean the outside themselves.

Thanks to the built-in ultraviolet lamps, connecting to the power source via the USB port, its filters can be disinfected in just 10 minutes.

The mask, called Aeri, uses removable filters, the throughput of which is comparable to the corresponding filter characteristics of the N95 respirator. According to the developers, each filter should work up to one and a half months, which is much longer than the average life of surgical masks and respirators N95. The modular design allows you to create individual accessories, such as a fan for comfortable breathing. Hence the name of the mask – Aeri, “air”.

Aeri developers also warned that wearing masks can interfere with the spread and correct operation of face recognition technology. But it is already known that some companies are working on technologies for identifying the person according to the iris and nose bridge.

For products like Aeri, there may be market demand. “Regardless of the need to unlock their phones, people still want to see each other’s faces at social events,” says Pentao Yu, vice president of industrial design at Huami. Prior to joining Huami, he collaborated with Nest Labs, Roku, GoPro and Huawei.

Huami representative office in the USA was opened in 2014. It is mainly engaged in research and development.

The main business of many companies suffered in the fight against the pandemic, but Huami managed to stay afloat. Its revenue for the first quarter year to year grew by 36% and reached 154 million dollars. However, net income fell from $ 10.6 million to $ 2.7 million. However, the company’s shares are losing value, falling from $ 16 in January to about $ 10 in mid-May.

The prototype of the Aeri mask is still under development. According to Yu, in Shenzhen, where the company’s headquarters are located, the software and hardware product development cycle (from idea to market entry) takes only 6-12 months.
Huami has not officially announced the target audience for Aeri, but Yu has now stressed that the masks are not intended for medical professionals. The company focuses on the global “mass consumer market.” Masks will serve not only to protect against viruses, but also from air pollution. Given the pricing policy of the company’s wearable products, Aeri is likely to sell at a competitive price.

The Aeri project is Huami’s second attempt (after a fitness tracker) to gain a foothold in the healthcare market. The company recently began collaborating with the laboratory of Dr. Zhong Nanshan, who has made a huge contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in China. Huami, with the support of the laboratory, will be able to conduct experiments to monitor respiratory diseases using wearable devices. The company also announced that it is in talks with the German Ministry of Health on the possibility of jointly developing a smartwatch-based virus monitoring application.

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