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Sunday, October 30, 2016

State of Environment and the Emergence of Air Purifiers

Wondering what will happen when the already prevalent air pollution in the country is boosted by the smoke of crackers this Diwali? Though breathing fresh air on streets is one problem that's always debatable, this week on Dot Club we've got you a few indoor air purifiers to ensure you're breathing safely - at least inside the house. We would also discuss some of the current trends of the air purifier industry and if it is actually necessary for us to buy air purifiers?

Current Market Trend

The market is driven by the surging pollution levels, depleting air quality leading to increasing prevalence of the air borne diseases. Global Air Purifiers Market has been growing at a moderate rate over the last five years on account of upsurge in the carbon dioxide emissions leading to surging prevalence of deaths owing to air pollution. During 2016-21, Air Purifiers Market is anticipated to grow at an increased rate on the back of intensifying government regulations in various parts of the world. Moreover, increasing demand for various types of air purifiers such as vehicle mounted as well as portable air purifiers has been anticipated to propel thrust in the sales of air purifiers in the future.

According to Azoth Analytics research report, Global Air Purifier Market: Trends, Opportunities and Forecasts (2016-2021) – (By Value, By Filter Technology – HEPA, ION & Ozone, Activated Carbon; By Region; By Country – US, UK, Canada, China, India; Key Players; Recommendations), global Air Purifiers Market is projected to exhibit a CAGR of over 12% during 2015 - 2020. 

In 2015, HEPA air purifiers comprised of around 60.39% share of the overall market owing to is the imperative role being played by the HEPA in the abatement of ambient as well as household air pollution. Few of the leading companies operating in Global Air Purifiers Market are Coway, Camfil, IQ Air, Honeywell Inc., etc.

Brands in India

Eureka Forbes

Eureka Forbes – the brand behind Aquaguard – has a few air purifiers in its product portfolio. Prominent ones include the Aeroguard Breeze (priced at Rs 12,999), Aeroguard Mist (priced at Rs 17,999) and the Aeroguard Wave (priced at Rs 29,999).

All the three share an Activeshield technology to filter out dangerous respirable particles, and Active 10X Pre Filters, HEPA filters and carbon filters. The top-of-the-line Wave also features a compound filter and an active oxidation cell – which helps in generation of negative ions to remove air borne pollutants.

The brand also has some other nifty air purifiers – particularly the Aeroguard Fresh (priced at Rs 4,999) and Aeroguard Clean Air Glo (priced at Rs 1,390). 


Philips has a few air purifiers in its product lineup, which range in pricing from Rs 17,000 to Rs 50,000. All of them come with a Vitashield IPS technology with multi-level filtration. The multi levels include a pre-filter which removes the larger particles in the air, a main filter which removes pollen and other dust particles and a finer, third filter which removes harmful gases and odours.

Philips also has replacement filters and other spare parts officially available in the country. So if you’re looking for a more long term option, this should be a safe bet.


The brand’s most popular air purifier in India is the Honeywell Air Touch. Notable features include a HiSiv filter technology, visual indicator for air quality, touch panel based controls and a dedicated sleep mode.

The purification filters are multi-layered, and they can be replaced easily. The design is a zero-blind one, to optimise the air flow to reach all corners of the room. The CADR is 300 cubic metres per hour, and the area range is upto 270 square feet.

The Honewell Air Touch is priced at Rs 28,000, and if you’re looking for a sleek, minimal purifier which gets the job done, this should be it.

Factors to keep in mind while buying

Size Of The Room

Depending on the size of the room, air purifier sizes will differ greatly. Ideally, the air purifier must be placed 5 to 10 feet away from where the person usually sits. The outflow should be directed towards the direction of where the person sits. It’s all about getting the right balance in the airflow.

Presence Of Allergies

If somebody in the home has a risk of an allergy, or if there is a smoker within the home, then the HEPA filter must be accompanied with a carbon filter to clear out the microscopic pollutants.

Also, with this point comes the ease of cleaning or replacing the filters. Filters can be either washable or replaceable, and if spare parts for air purifiers are hard to come by, then the natural choice would be to settle for an air purifier with a washable filter – as is the case with some old vacuum cleaners.

Additional Features

Some air purifiers come with added functionalities such as the ability to reduce the presence of unpleasant odours in the air. While this might seem as a promising feature, it might just be a gimmicky feature which seldom works, and instead emits ozone into the air.

Besides this, some air purifiers come with remote controls for easy controlling. Needless to say, this is a handy addition.

The Benefits Of Buying An Air Purifier
  • Air purifiers improves the quality of air within homes and offices to maintain a pollution-free environment.
  • The walls we use to shelter and protect us from the elements also trap airborne chemicals, gases, odor and particles. The EPA has found that our dwellings may contain air that is 2 to 5 times, even 100 times more polluted than outdoor air.
  • Many researchers now believe that disease is an on-going process in the body that may take years to evolve from the earliest stage. Therefore a fetus or newborn exposed to a cancer-causing toxin early-on will have an increased chance of developing a disease later in life - simply because it will have more time to evolve.
  • Natural circadian rhythms and sleep cycles have shown to improve when the air quality is better. This trend actually goes with smart scales being able to measure the air quality.

Air purifiers will get smarter. The best example in this regard is the Mi Air Purifier by Xiaomi, which purifies the air and integrates with a smartphone app to notify the user about the status of the contaminants at home.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Augmented Reality - The Next Big Thing?

Reality is what we see & believe with our senses but the technology has categorised it further i.e virtual & augmented reality. Both of them are like cousins who are similar but they need to differentiated for better understanding of the latter one. Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is made using software and immerses the user’s senses (sight and sound) completely in a digital world while augmented reality makes use of digital image and sound and superimposes it into the real world. (To make it clear, virtual reality is when you put your phone in google cardboard or various VR equipment available today and immerse yourself to in an artificial world. Augmented reality on other hand is like Robert Downey Jr. in Iron man making projections on whichever surface he wants in a real world. Microsoft's holo lens and Google glass are such examples.)

After making this necessary distinction now let’s discuss how AR (augmented reality) works. Under augmented reality various sensors (including a camera), computer components and a display device are used to create the illusion of virtual objects in the real world. Smartphones at present is the best platform for most commercial augmented reality applications. Perhaps the best example being Google Glass.

The main function of the Google glass is based on the mini projector, which projects image on a prism which further projects over the real view of the user and finally focuses the image on the retina. In general, sense the AG device works by looking for a particular target which may be anything for example a movie poster on wall. As AR app recognizes the target using camera, it processes the image and augments it with respective pictures and sound. In AG devices algorithms and sensors like accelerometers (instrument used to measure the acceleration of a moving body) and gyroscopes (instrument used to maintain a reference direction in navigation systems) are used to keep the augmented elements aligned with real world images.
For example, you may see the movie poster spring to life and play a trailer for the film.


AR’s potential to impact our lives is immense as it has a wide range of applications due to rise in consumer smart devices. According to Brian Selzer from Ogmento (AR video game maker), AR will not only change the way we live, but will actively shape how our lives progress: “There is no question that AR is going to have a profound impact over the next decade.”

The main commercial development in augmented reality are namely education and gaming. Mainstream gaming consoles, Playstation & Xbox have included augmented reality capabilities for the last two console generations. They have incorporated AG in the form of the Kinect (for the Xbox) and Playstation Eye (Playstation 4 & 3). It is being also used in fields such as medicine where students can get benefit of live 3D models. In medical practice AR is also been used for example,  Veinviewer system shows a real-time image of infrared vein scans directly onto the patient’s skin. Thus, creating the impression that patients the skin is transparent which allows the doctor to “see” the veins directly.

Future AR applications :
Tourism – Geolocative media includes navigational and historically-relevant data.

Publishing – enhancing print media through targeted AR (For Eg: IKEAS’s catalogue), study materials, manuals, etc.

The Military – Unmanned drones with complex HUD systems, and army training.

Manufacturing – AR manuals that will facilitate technicians to work with reduced scope of error, which may further reduce production costs

Retail – AR shopping will result in sophisticated immersive experiences


In spite of all good future applications AR has some limitation as well like the GPS used has accuracy within the range of 30 ft. and does not work indoor, least network requirement is 3G and camera quality also affects the technology quality. A major disadvantage is that the present mobile devices are still not powerful enough to process the required amount of data in real‐time i.e. to run at interactive frame rate (15‐30 frames per second).

To conclude, augmented reality will have good future prospects despite some limitations. It, being an evolving technology is facing technical, social and financial problems. As time passes and this technology matures all these issues will be rectified.