Sunday, March 20, 2016

New Smart Air Purifier Costs Only Rs. 3,399

Xiaomi's air purifier to be launched in India? A social enterprise built around an ethos of frugal innovation called Smart Air is disrupting the air purifier space in India with a DIY kit priced at Rs. 3,399, almost half the China price of the Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2 (the India price will likely be higher, if the product even launches here). What's more, the test results published on the Smart Air website claim it's as good as the most expensive brands in the market.

Xiaomi, no stranger to price disruptions, is one of the cheapest air purifiers in this category. Air purifiers are expensive in India - they range in price from nearly Rs. 17,000, up to Rs. 40,000. So how is Smart Air priced at Rs. 3,399? The company is also selling a one-year kit, with six HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, at just Rs. 8,394. Jay Kannaiyan, India Head at Smart Air Filters spoke to Gadgets 360, sharing the story of the company's origins and its operations in India, and its future plans.

"This is frugal innovation. People ask us why is this so jugaad? It's because we're breaking down this concept to its basics," he says. "It's just enough. It's not putting any glitz and glamour on it. It's minimalist. It has no buttons, no LED lights, and it just works."

Smart Air's founder, Thomas Talhelm, a PhD student in China experienced Beijing's 'Airpocalypse' in 2013, when starting looking at air purifiers to buy one to protect himself. Talhelm realised he needed one for each room, and replacement filters for each of them. It would pretty soon end up costing around Rs. 2 lakh. He realized that's crazy money for an average person to cough up, so then he researched purifiers and found out that there's nothing much in an air purifier, besides a HEPA filter and a fan.

So he sourced the HEPA filter from Chinese e-commerce website Taobao, strapped it to a fan, bought a Dylos laser particle counter, and verified that there was a dramatic drop in PM 2.5 particles within an hour. After running the same tests for 8 hours, he saw that the levels dropped to within the acceptable guidelines from WHO.

Read more @ NDTV Gadgets 360

No comments: