We breathe about 11 000 litres of air every day, but pay little attention to its quality, mainly because it’s invisible but also because the effects of breathing polluted air are often delayed. And it’s not only outdoor air that’s a problem: according to a 2023 report by the World Health Organization, 3,2 million people die each year from household pollution alone.
To address this problem, aerospace engineer Selene Sarı has created an air purifier that doubles as a speaker. ‘The perception that air purifiers are strictly medical necessities required for very specific circumstances is preventing a lot of urban citizens from cleaning their air,’ she points out. ‘However, we may not be realising that there are countless primary sources of indoor pollution in a modern household.’
Current air-purification solutions on the market are often expensive, making use of traditional filters that tend to be non-recyclable and high-energy. Sarı’s air purifier/speaker, Vox Aeris, aims to bring air purification into the home with novel, lower-cost purification technology.
The retro-esque device is essentially a particle agglomerator: turbulence produced by a vortex created by both internal fans and acoustics – created by sounds from the speaker element – gathers particles, which are then filtered through a low-cost non-woven fabric which has been enhanced by laser engraving. This filter system is inspired by the micromorphology of plant leaves, which captures small to medium-sized particles.
The device features a screen that showcases the current air quality, buttons for controlling the air purifier and speaker functions, and a dial that controls the volume and tone of the audio.