'Hand Tree' Air Purifier Cleans Environment, Converts CO2 To Oxygen: How Does Alexandr Kostin’s Portable Wrist Device Work?

By Philip Ross on July 12, 2013 11:16 AM EDT

hand tree 1
The “Hand Tree” portable air purifier, developed by Russian student Alexandr Kostin and worn like a wrist watch, removes pollutants from the surrounding air and even converts CO2 into Oxygen. (Photo: Electrolux Design Lab / Alexan)
hand tree 2
“Hand Tree” isn’t available for consumers just yet, as the product is still in the visual stage of development. (Photo: Electrolux Design Lab / Alexan)

A portable air purifier dubbed "Hand Tree" cleans the air and even converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, much like ... well, a tree. The fittingly named "Hand Tree," developed by Russian design student Alexandr Kostin, is worn on the wrist like a watch and removes dust, smoke and contaminants from the surrounding air. While certainly a must-have for smog-choked urbanites, the mini wearable air purifier won't be available for purchase anytime soon; the gadget is still in the visual stage of development.

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Kostin entered his portable "Hand Tree" air purifier concept into the 2013 Electrolux Design Lab competition, an annual global design competition sponsored by Electrolux, a household appliance company. Students from around the world are asked to develop an innovative product based on a theme set by the design lab. Hundreds of applicants made submissions this year, and the competition has been narrowed down to the top 20 semifinalist.

The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of 5,000 euros (or about $6,500) and a six-month paid internship with Electrolux.

This year's theme was "Inspired Urban Living." There were three subcategories of focus: "Social Cooking," "Natural Air" and "Effortless Cleaning."

"The climate we live in is changing yearly; pollution is a growing problem and our indoor space should be a sanctuary from the suburban outdoors," the Electrolux Design Lab guidelines for the "Natural Air" category read. "Healthier air quality is a core factor and can affect personal health and appearance."

Kostin, who is a student at the Vladimir State University in Russia, came up with the concept for "Hand Tree," which is a portable air purifier worn on the wrist. Much like an apparatus Inspector Gadget would wear, the "Hand Tree" design is sleek, modern and smart.  

How does the air purifier work?

According to the product's profile page on Electrolux Design Lab's competition page, the "Hand Tree" works by sucking in contaminated city air, filtering it through a removable filter, and then blowing out clean air. A batter pack keeps the gadget charged, and a perfume packet releases a pleasant scent.

"Combining millions of personal air purifiers we can achieve the image of living in a forest," the profile for "Hand Tree" reads. "If every inhabitant in a big city would wear such a device, we would be all to breathe easily in a smoggy air."

That's quite the feat to accomplish; could the "Hand Tree" really be powerful enough to make much of  a difference in localized air quality? Looks like we'll have to wait for the prototype.

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