How Did We Start? And What's Our Mission?



Nosy was conceived in the London tube in the fall of 2019. But its beginnings date back much further...


Since finishing university in New York City in 2011 and joining the millions of people that use public transportation to commute to work everyday, Carina Cunha, Founder and CEO of Nosy, has always wondered why there are no convenient and effective air filtering devices.

“If we can have sunglasses to protect us from UV rays and noise cancelling headphones, why are there no wearable devices that can do the same for odours and smog?”

Until one day, after being stuck in the London tube for hours breathing toxic air, Carina decided that she needed to take matters into her own hands, and create the type of protection that she wished she had for years. What initially started as a way to block out odours and fumes, quickly descended into a journey of learning about the rising levels of air pollution worldwide and the health impacts of inhaling PM2.5 particles and NO2.

According to research by Berkeley Earth, every 15-20 minutes spent in the London tube is equivalent to smoking a cigarette. While walking around central London adds another 3 cigarettes worth of pollution to your tally. On a daily basis, Londoners may be inhaling upwards of 5-10 cigarettes worth of pollution.

The sad truth is that these numbers are not exclusive to London or Europe. In fact, 92% of cities worldwide fail to meet World Health Organisation air quality standards, and 1 in 9 deaths worldwide are now linked to air pollution.

Face masks, however, are not a viable solution to protect against air pollution. Face masks were originally designed to prevent splashes of fluid that could lead to cross contamination between patient and doctor.  

Most of them are highly ineffective against fine particles like PM2.5 or gases from exhaust fumes because in order to filter particles of this nature you need to create chemical reactions at the atomic level. This can only be achieved either by burning the molecules (what is done in incinerators) or by passing the molecules through an Activated Carbon filter that is changed regularly.


What’s more, covering the mouth is not a design necessity, but an engineering flaw of face masks when protecting against air pollution.


1. For the face mask to effectively filter microscopic particles, it needs to rely on an extremely tight seal that inevitably leads to discomfort and breathing difficulties.


2. If the mask is not uncomfortable to wear, it is safe to assume that the filter is not fully functional and air is flowing through gaps around the seal. If this is the case, whatever filter rating a mask has is meaningless. Higher rated filters may even lead to people breathing more air through the side of their masks.


Now to the good news, healthy people mostly breathe through their nose.

This is because the nose is the only organ in our bodies designed to filter and humidify air. Breathing through the mouth is a last resort measure, which people use when the air that they are trying to inhale lacks oxygen or is hot or humid - like the air that is trapped inside of the pocket of a face mask.


The solution was blatantly obvious: why not create a breathing device that covers only your Nose? And this is where Nosy started.


For Nosy to be worthy of our modern standards of living, it had to be so much more than a wearable air filter. It had to be seamlessly compatible with our lifestyle. With the end-user always in the forefront of our minds, we set ourselves on a mission to create a gadget that is:






After partnering with a star team of former Dyson Engineers at Aetha Designs, we are proud to say that we have created an entire new approach to breathing health and developed a line of wearable technology that meets the highest standards of quality and design.

Nosy's mission however, doesn't stop there. With Nosy, we hope to raise awareness about the damaging impact of air pollution by physically and figuratively bringing the issue to people's faces. Together we can show to legislatures that we are ready to take back control of the air we breathe! 


We welcome you to join us in living healthier lives and changing the planet! 🌍 #BeNosy  



Aetha Designs Team and Nosy Team, Product Prototype Meeting in Notting Hill March 2020


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