As the human race continues to expand and urbanize, air pollution is becoming a serious, pressing issue – in major cities such as Beijing and Tehran you can literally see the problem before your eyes. Electrolux Design Lab Semifinalist Alexandr Kostin has developed a personal solution to atrocious atmospheres. The Hand Tree is a bracelet that incorporates a small filter that purifies the air. The designer believes if a whole population of people were outfitted with such a device, the technology could help to combat smog much like a forest of mobile trees.
The Hand Tree consists of a carbon air filter, rechargeable battery, OLED display, and bioplastic shell. A touchpad allows the user to choose between operating modes and displays the time. An outlet and director focuses air either towards or away from the body. There is also an option of adding a cartridge of perfume to flavor personal space. A logo on the touchpad changes color depending on the condition of the filter, and a light on the body indicates the level of pollution. The Hand Tree does not have any clasps, but instead uses silicone rubber placed between wrist and gadget.
Depending on sense of style, the Hand Tree may become a unique, high-tech method of self expression along with a means of clearing the air. Disposal of the filters and batteries may become a challenge for the invention if there is not an already existing infrastructure to recycle the components. While the concept depends heavily on a large number of people wearing the device, it is another innovative tool to help improve air quality and signal a commitment to the environment.