Coway makes Airmega air filtration systems that suck allergens out of the air in your home. And now it’s making the devices easier to control, with the integration of Amazon Alexa voice commands, starting in mid-January.

On top of that, the company will ship a graphite version of its filtration system in mid-February. The graphite unit will come in the Airmega 400 ($750) and 400s ($850) models. The Alexa integration is one more example of how much easier it can be to control devices when they become part of the Internet of Things, which is making everyday objects smart and connected.

With Alexa, you can now ask Airmega for updates on indoor air quality, filter lifetime, fan speed changes, timer setup, and more. This is the first step to integration across all voice-activated platforms. Google Home will be up and running by mid-2017.

Coway's graphite version of its Airmega 400 model.

Above: Coway’s graphite version of its Airmega 400 model.

Image Credit: Coway

Air quality is important, as people consume about 3,000 gallons of air per day, and chemicals and toxins are easily absorbed through the lungs. Respiratory illness is on the rise in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 25 million Americans (or 1 in 12 people) suffer from asthma, up 28 percent from 2001. And we spend about 80 percent of our time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Indoor pollution comes from a variety of sources: cooking, cigarette smoke, candles and incense, off-gassing from manufactured materials like carpet, vapors from cleanings products, pet dander, and HVAC systems. Then there are outdoor contaminants that make their way through doors and windows. These include exhaust, mold, emissions from factory vents, and pollen.

In its automated smart mode, Airmega quietly goes about filtering your air with a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA). It has two Max2 activated carbon filters (with coconut extracts) to capture and reduce more than 99 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odors.

It has a dual suction fan, which means the purifier can remain on the smaller side without sacrificing a lot of power. It traps particulates as small as 0.3 microns, or less than 1/100th the width of a human hair. Cleaned air re-circulates through a vent at the top of the purifier. South Korea’s Coway says the 400S model can cover more than 1,560 square feet of space. It’s about the size of mini fridge.

Over time, the app helps you become a lot more knowledgeable about the air quality in your home. It can track the level of pollution over time — providing a cross-section of the pollutants in your home over a 24-hour period or showing you a year’s worth of data. The Airmega notifies you via the app when the filter needs to be replaced.

I’ve also recently written about the Uhoo, Molekule, and Sprimo air filters. And there were lots of other air-cleaning solutions at CES 2017.

Here’s a video of how quickly Airmega can clean air.

VB boilerplate CES 2017-2