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The Israeli Device that Aims to Clean Up Your Air

If you suffer from pollen allergies or are concerned about “indoor pollution” from sources such as cleaning materials, furniture glue, and mold, you might have considered buying an air purifier from a brand like Dyson, Molekule, or Blueair. And if you’re a safety-concerned home owner, you probably already have a few smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed.

Israeli startup Aura Air asks: Why buy two devices when you could have it all-in-one?

The Tel Aviv-based company launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this year to build its indoor air-quality detector and air purifier combo. The goal was a modest $15,000 but backers pledged close to $300,000. That’s on top of the $1.5 million the company received from private angel investors when it launched in 2017.

What makes the air from Aura so cool? The story begins 20 years ago, when brothers Eldar and Aviad Shnaiderman would spend summers and vacations helping at their father’s air-conditioning and maintenance company.

“We saw what was happening on the inside of the units,” Aviad tells ISRAEl21c, “and we thought, wow, it’s so dirty. This is what we’re breathing?”

Aviad, 32, now the CEO of Aura Air, had been in the army’s special forces unit for more than a decade, while also pursuing an MBA. Eldar, the older of the two at 37, who now serves as Aura Air’s CTO, is an electrical engineering by training. When both found themselves ready for their next gigs, they remembered what they’d seen in their father’s shop.

“We knew we had to find a solution,” Aviad says.

The result is a device the size and shape of a small robotic floor cleaner but that hangs on your wall.

Aura Air first checks for all kinds of dangerous gases and particles. The device then goes to work to purify the air. It can filter out tiny particles – down to the size of bacteria, viruses and pollen. It cleans the air of mold, fungi and PM2.5, particulate matter just two and a half microns in width that can lodge in the lungs, leading to coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and, over extended exposure, more serious problems.