Any freshness or innovation brought to an existing product category can be interesting. Such is the case with Havells Studio’s new made-entirely-in-India Meditate or the AP 400 air purifier.

To begin with the Meditate purifier has been designed to look rather distinct. Some describe it as an overgrown tabla and others are reminded of the beloved R2D2 robot. Some would consider it stylish and others too space age - as ever, this is entirely subjective. It arrives in a large solid box which a customer will probably not feel like throwing away.

One thing is for sure; the AP 400 is a large machine. Meant for large spaces (say about 50 square meters). It can’t be missed in a room, so one will need to place it to not clash with the furniture and decor. The machine is best not pushed up too close to a wall as it has 360-degree vents that shouldn’t be blocked.

Meditate is an IOT device and needs some basic setting up and syncing with the Havells Studio app, but if you don’t want to bother with the installation, just wait for the company to send its service engineers who will duly set it all up for you. Long pressing the buttons on the top of the device reset it and put into connection mode, which is when it will look for a 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi connection. The advantages of having it on the Wi-Fi network are quite a few: the device can be controlled remotely via the app, even when one is not home; Alexa or Google can be used to tell the device what to do including setting automated routines and schedules; one can view the air’s status on one’s phone, and most of all, the primary AP 400 machine can connect with its auxiliary device - a spaceship-shaped puck which is both a remote and an AQI monitor.

The flying saucer external monitor sits on top of the tabla surface, within the circles drawn there, which is where it charges and shows you air stats, speed and lets you control some settings. When used as a remote, you can carry it away, somewhat distant from the main machine and set it down close to you. The AQI in that spot will now be relayed to the machine which will make speed adjustments accordingly. Moving the remote around helps the user too to understand the pattern of clean vs polluted air in a home or office and decide on placement, speed, etc.

The top of the AP 400 not only wirelessly charges the remote (which can also be topped up more quickly via USB -A cable and charger) but can also charge a phone or other gadget that supports Qi charging. It will trickle-charge, as wireless charging does, but one has to be careful not to cover the air vents.

The air purification technology for Meditate combines the conventional technique of particulate matter (PM) removal through a filtration process along with degeneration of protein structures of viruses or bacteria and a range of gaseous pollutants, through a photocatalytic oxidation process. During the first stage of PM filtration, the suspended particles are removed from by forcing the air through a series of membranes or filters  designed to remove PM up to 0.1 microns in size.

The second stage of air purification degenerates the viruses and bacteria and hazardous gases by exposing the air to specific wavelength of light (UV-C & A) and the reaction is catalysed by specific catalysts by a process called photo-catalytic oxidation. Gases like formaldehyde, ethylene, ozone are disintegrated to basic elements of environment. The AP 400 uses a nylon pre-filter, a HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, UV lamp, and airtight sealing strip. The filter can be charged by the user since the process is easy enough, but one can also just as well give Havells a call and they will come along to change it. The status for the filter can of course be viewed in the companion app.

During the test period, the Meditate purifier worked very well. From a whopping AQI of close to 900 (exposure to cooking in a closed area) it eventually brought the count down to 5, showing figures separately for the different particulate matter such as PM2.5, PM10, and PM1.0. The app also shows the battery status of the remote monitor which seems to need to be back on its perch in a while as it complains with long beeps. 

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