Got cats, pollen, dust mites? Sprimo scrubs your air and tells you what’s in it

The Environmental Protection Agency has warned that indoor air quality can sometimes be worse than the outdoors. Insulation, glues, cigarettes, pet dander, and cleaning products can all contribute to the problem, making it hard to know exactly what the culprit is when your allergies worsen: The newly installed carpet? The scented candle? The humidifier?

There are tons of air purifiers that promise to suck all the icky stuff out your room. Sprimo claims the same, but it’s a desktop version, more geared at producing a personalized bubble of clean air for you, for use either at home or at work. To that end, the 12-inch-tall, seven-pound device is meant to sit on your desk. The bubble extends about six feet.

Related: Continue to keep your air clean with these other purifiers out on the market

“If you have allergies, a dog, a cat, or the guy behind you smokes or had curry for lunch, you can have your fresh air over you, directed exactly the way you want it,” Sprimo CEO Ray Combs told Digital Trends while showing off a demo version of the purifier. If you tilt the device upward and give it about 17 minutes, it will still clean the entire room, but it’s that personal bubble that sets it apart, claims Combs.

The Sprimo is smart, has a touchscreen, and is Linux-based. It’s first going to work with iPhones, but an Android version will come later. There are three screens right now; one that gives you an air-quality score (taking into account the air’s temperature and humidity and the amount or volatile organic compounds it’s filtering out and how much CO2 it’s measuring), one that controls the fan speed from zero to 100, and one that tracks the lifespan of the filter.

There’s going to be a bit of a learning curve when people first get their Sprimos, Combs told us. How do you know if your level of VOCs is safe? You just got an alert that there was suddenly a spike in activity with the filter. Should you panic or did you just spray a cleaner or start cooking with a smoky oil? But as you start to learn what sets off the Sprimo, so will others.

“The real value is the data that’s collected and shared, kind of like a Craigslist or Angie’s List, and correlations that are made,” says Josh Lifton, founder of Crowd Supply, where the Sprimo is debuting today. If everyone who has a particular brand of shelves also has a nasty chemical in the air around them, that could help identify problematic products more swiftly. That information will come from the sensors but also the filters themselves. As an added service, owners will be able to have the filters they send back to Sprimo analyzed in a lab. This will give them a deeper insight into what’s floating around in the air.

The information gathered will also help Sprimo design more personalized filters. If you have an excess of dander and live in Boston, you’ll have the option of getting a different filter than your cousin in smoggy L.A. And if it’s a particularly bad day in L.A., he might get an alert on his Sprimo. “Everyone in L.A. gets air-quality alerts through the radio or TV,” says Lifton. “It may as well be on something that’s going to solve the problem, or at least mitigate it.”

Combs was inspired to create Sprimo — along with Harold Han, who has a PhD in chemistry from NYU — because his son has asthma. “We’ve gone through all the clinics, all the puffers, masks, and nebulizers,” he said, “but the number one thing is getting rid of the stuff in the air, the triggers. That was the genesis of our company.” For Combs, though, it’s not enough to just get rid of the triggers — it’s also about giving people an insight into what’s going on around them and using the data in a bigger way. “It’s making what’s invisible visible and helping people live a healthier life,” he says.

Sprimo will retail for $399, but early backers can get it on Crowd Supply for $319. The filters are expected to cost around $59 each.


Breathe easy, stay warm with Amazon’s one-day deal on a Dyson air purifier fan

Dyson is a leader in bringing consumers the latest in heating, cooling, and air purification. Its Pure Hot + Cool Link HP02 does all three — and for today only, it’s on sale on Amazon for $359. That’s $241 off the suggested retail…

Drink what nature provides with the best water purifiers

Looking for reliable water purification? Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are hiking or camping far from civilization. Check out our picks of the best water purifiers for your camp, backpack, or pocket.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Smart Home

Cops go after porch pirates with dummy Amazon boxes and GPS trackers

Amazon is helping police in Jersey City to catch thieves who steal delivered packages from outside people's homes. Within just minutes of the operation's launch this week, cops nabbed their first porch pirate.
Smart Home

A couple’s recalled dishwasher caught on fire — and now they’re warning others

A Wisconsin couple has been using the dishwasher in their house for a year, unaware that it was recalled in 2009. Then the appliance caught fire. Now they are warning others to check appliances for risks when buying or renting a home.
Smart Home

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or farm to get some fresh pine a daunting task that you dread every year? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.
Smart Home

Amazon has some killer deals on vacuums through the holidays

Whether you're buying for someone else or for yourself, Amazon has some great deals on vacuums running through the holidays. Score them while you can and keep your home cleaner than ever.
Smart Home

Got an Emerson thermostat? 135,000 of them are being recalled due to fire risk

Most recalls are relatively benign but if you own an Emerson-branded thermostat, we encourage you to check your model number because the company has alerted consumers to the potential of the device starting a fire.

You don't want to sleep on these red-hot bedding deals

We've rounded up some of the best discounts and sales happening right now, so you can buy yourself (or your loved ones) new bedding without breaking your budget. Trust us when we say these are deals worth losing sleep over.

Best deals for smart home plugs that control your lights and appliances

Smart hubs and speakers play central communication and management roles in your home, but smart plugs let you add lights and appliances to your system. Any smart plug you buy must support one feature or anything you plug in stays dumb.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Smart Home

Knock, knock. Who's there? With a video doorbell, you'll never have to guess

When it comes to knowing who's at your door before you actually open it, there's nothing better than a video doorbell. Plus, you can "answer" the door even if you're not home. Here are some of our favorites.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.