Depending upon where you live, the air inside your home might not be all that fantastic to inhale. The usual solution for this would be to buy an air purifier—the bigger, more powerful, and more expensive the better.
But that’s kind of a scam, according to the team behind the Sprimo Personal Air Purifier, which launches this week with a Crowd Supply campaign. Where the typical air purifier fights a losing battle trying to scrub an entire room full of air, Sprimo says, its product pushes a clean and almost pollution-free stream of air directly towards your head.
I recently spent a couple of hours with a Sprimo Personal Air Purifier demo unit and Sprimo co-founders Ray Combs (CEO) and Harold Han (CTO). Combs knows his way around hardware. He was on the original Kindle team and most recently served as vice president of products for Handscape. His partner, CTO Han, is the science side of the operation with doctoral research into filtration chemistry.
Han also has a personal interest in the work. His grandfather and uncle died of lung cancer after years of breathing the terrible air in Anshan, China, which is home to one of the largest steel producers in China.
“The problem is everyone tries to clean the whole room,” Harold Han said. “You only breathe one percent of the air from a typical purifier. They may think their purifier works, but it really doesn’t—the Sprimo is 50 times more efficient than a traditional one.”
An attractive design
The device measures 4.6 inches deep, 12 inches high, and 10.0 inches in diameter. A travel case will available, but the Sprimo’s 7.5-pound weight isn’t exactly light. The purifier will come with an iPhone app that supports iPhone 5 and above, and there’s an Android app in the works. You’ll be able to control fan speed from the app or by using the touchscreen in the middle of the device. The round display feels a lot like a Nest thermostat, with pleasant colors and the potential to display various bits of information.
The device is certainly sleek; it would have fit in right in on a Sharper Image (RIP) showroom floor. It’s quiet, too, so it won’t inhibit your productivity while it places you inside its protective bubble of happy air.
Filters customized for your environment
The Sprimo’s filters are another feature that should set it apart from the competition: They can can be customized to more aggressively filter issues that are prevalent in certain regions. A firm decision hasn’t been made yet on how specific this will get, but Sprimo plans to take in all used filters from customers to analyze the fibers and other airborne issues that are trapped inside them. So if you live somewhere with a lot of pollen, or if you have a particular allergy, your filters could be engineered to attack those issues.
“We design our products based on the science and data,” Combs said. “We’re taking our best shot at a first one, and then will see what people need. As we get requests and a greater understanding based on the local environments we can follow up by region, ailment, or possibly personal preference.”
Sprimo will offer early-bird pricing of $299 during its Crowd Supply campaign, with a post-retail price set for $399. The campaign will run from April 12 to June 9, with a funding goal of $250,000.