Active+ smart mask AirPop

Active+ is a $150 mask that reads the air you breathe

The mask from AirPop syncs with an app and sensor, telling you when to change the filter

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Active+ is a $150 mask that syncs with an app, telling you when it's time to change the filter. The mask, set to launch in April, is coming right at the one-year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, when mask wearing is still something experts say we need.

Even without a pandemic though, Active+ promises to help clear the air around you, and in fact at no time does the company, AirPop, promise that its device will keep you safe from viruses. In fact, the company makes clear that the mask is not certified as a N95 for example. Instead, this is a device that makes use of a sensor on the front, designed to help pick up details about your respiratory rate, which then coupled with data about your location helps you breathe in air that's cleaner than what's floating around outside. This includes dust, allergens, particulates and microbial particles, said the company.

ActThe Active+ mask currently works with iOS devicesAirPop

Active+ mask AirPop

A full review of Active+ is coming — we've set the device up and started playing with it — including what kind of metrics the mask and companion app offers people. But in short, because the app pulls your location, you can see the AQI, or air quality index, or your specific area. Then, as you use the mask — designed for active use like cycling or running — the app will tell you, in colloquial terms, the levels of pollutants the filter has pulled, like the equivalent of a cigarette, based on how fast you were breathing.

Each mask comes with four filters, and each filter is scanned via a QR code into the app and then tracked over time. The filters are expected to give someone 40 hours of use. That may not sound like a lot, but even if someone is spending a few hours outside a day, including a run, that's going to offer up about two weeks of use per mask — and about two months for the full kit. Plus you can purchase packs of four extra filters, starting at $24.99, through the app.

Through the app, you can read details about how many pollutants have been captured dailyGearBrain

The masks will eventually come in white as well, but for now, it only comes in black and green. As for size, the one we were sent was pretty big, and was truly the first time since wearing masks daily that I felt like the character Bane in the Batman films. But you can order a smaller sizes as well. Filters snap into the inside of the mask, and then silicone strips can be moved to create a seal between the mask and the filter — and your face. The goal is to see the mask rise and fall with the breathe, according to instructions in the box.

Currently, the Active+ works only with iOS devices, although an Android app is in the works and expected by the end of March. The iOS app is a bit confusing — which we'll outline more in our full review coming later next week — but we had some trouble knowing when the mask was actually on and working, or not.

You can order the mask now for $149.99 on the company's site. And we will link to the review when we're finished testing the mask ourselves.

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