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SYFY WIRE Technology

Look like a DJ astronaut in this pandemic protective helmet from the future

By Benjamin Bullard
The MicroClimate AIR helmet

For all we know, every headgear-sportin’ DJ from Deadmau5 to Marshmello to Daft Punk might already have some kind of futuristic life support system tucked away inside their mysterious bulbous headgear. But you’d have to go around the world to find anything as accessible as this $200 spaced-out helmet that’s designed with COVID-19 protection in mind.

A creation of former automotive engineer Michael Hall’s MicroClimate company, the AIR helmet (no relation to the French DJ duo, who aren’t known for wearing stage masks) doesn’t simply look like something you’d see at an astronaut rave; it also packs in some seriously thoughtful tech. The USB-rechargeable, battery-powered piece of kit totes two HEPA air filters, and continuously pumps fresh air throughout the chamber that surrounds your noggin’.

Aimed primarily at travelers who change environments at jet speed, the AIR creates a stable microclimate inside the helmet that offers consistent air quality regardless of your surroundings. A fan-powered ventilation system pulls new air in through the HEPA filter even as it channels old air out the back, keeping the panoramic acrylic face mask fog-free. The reusable padded lining forms a seal at the base of your neck, and it’s intended to be removed, washed, and put right back into action. And if you’re planning on spending time outdoors, there’s even room to comfortably wear a pair of sunglasses inside (but just pray that you don’t get an eye itch.)

AIR’s website is full of flashy photos that show well-attired business types holding pleasant conversations while ensconced inside their tech-y headgear, so we assume having a space-age crown on your cranium doesn’t throw up too much of a sensory barrier — at least not to the person who's wearing it. But we’re less sure about how you’ll be received by the rest of the world if you do venture out rockin’ one of these things (and your color choices, for now, are limited to black and white.) Admittedly, they do look just cool enough to get away with telling inquisitive bystanders you’re simply getting in costume for your next million-dollar DJ gig…in space.