Inspired by the suffering of his Beijing-based relatives with polluted air, Ray Wu founded Wynd: a smart portable air-purifier that weighs less than 1 pound (0.45 kg) that can clean the polluted air around its users, as well as allowing them to access information about what pollutants the device has found and cleaned up.
Wynd works by creating a bubble of healthy air around its user. Dirty air is drawn in by vents and cleaned through the device’s air filter. The purified air is diffused through the device’s upper filters. According to the company, the portable air-purifier can filter things like allergens, dust, pet dander and smoke.
The founding company, Wynd Technologies, sought crowd-funding earlier this month, aiming for a modest US $50,000, and was able to collect some US $350,000 prior to the month’s end. The fast response to the company’s funding call could be a result of the rising concerns over the heightened levels of polluted air. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global urban air pollution level has surged by 8% between 2008 and 2013.
“More than 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits,” the WHO said in an official statement, earlier this year. “As urban air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases.”
The new device has built-in sensors that monitor the quality of the surrounding air and adjusts its power accordingly, filtering more or less pollutants as and when needed. The smart device is connected to users’ smartphones through an app, allowing them to check the quality of the surrounding air and know more about the air the device has filtered. Users can also manually adjust the amount of clean air Wynd produces.
“Wynd can reduce PM2.5 (fine particles) by over 50% and PM10 (coarse particles) by over 70% and can clean over 70% of particles in a typical car cabin in under 10 minutes,” the company says.
The company is selling the device, along with other accessories, for US $129 on the crowd-Kickstarter and promises to deliver by November 2016. The company states that the device will retail for US $ 189. When the filter is used up, the phone app can automatically request a new one for US $7.
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