Why don’t you stick to reviewing cars?
I can hear the groans as I attempt to put into words what I think I know about Medklinn Autoplus having had it in my car for the better part of a fortnight. Trust me, car review would probably be easier to write. Quantifying power and speed, and justifying tangible features like touchscreens and leather seats are a lot more straightforward than trying to tell if a device that acts on the invisible environment around us is actually working as promised. But such is the pandemic-stricken world we live in today.
Our biggest enemy is a virus we cannot see. Flip the table around the same logic and perhaps a gadget that functions beyond the limits of our sight to combat such elusive threats isn’t too farfetched after all.
How it works
First things first; Medklinn Autoplus is NOT an air filter. There is no mechanism for air to pass through and get cleansed. Instead, Medklinn’s products use a patented Cerafusion cartridge that creates active oxygen to sterilise the air. In doing so, it essentially generates ozone, which is made up of O3 molecules that attach to harmful pollutants and break them down on a molecular level, as well as negatively-charged oxygen atoms that cause airborne particles to fall to the surface.
As confusingly scientific as it sounds, Medklinn’s modus operandi is merely a simulation of something that has existed since the dawn of time. Natural phenomena such as thunderstorms, moving water and photosynthesis are some of nature’s ways of creating active oxygen that essentially ‘cleanses’ the air. This is why it’s so refreshing to be around waterfalls and in forests. It also explains the invigorating buzz in the air after a heavy shower.
Medklinn Autoplus essentially recreates this effect in the car without using a single chemical compound. The active oxygen it produces is supposedly useful in breaking down airborne particles (dust, spores and mould), eliminating bad odours (cigarettes, food, pets) and oxidising volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde released by synthetic compounds used in the cabin. All the user needs to do is plug it into the lighter socket or via USB (more on that later) and nothing more. It’s completely plug-and-play with no buttons to operate whatsoever; just a single slider to adjust its operational intensity.
Sounds simple enough, but how sure can we be that it actually works?
Studies back it up
Independent microbiology tests performed by Monash university prove that Cerafusion technology is capable of killing harmful bacteria and mould known to cause infections, food poisoning and allergic reaction. If that’s not enough, scientists from the Fujita Health University in Japan have established that prolonged exposure to ozone in concentrations safe to humans can decrease the infectivity of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 by 95 percent.
Are there any perceptible differences?
The Cerafusion cartridge makes a light audible buzz when it’s on. And at full blast, it doesn’t take long for Medklinn Autoplus to fill a car’s enclosed surroundings with a whiff of sterilisation of sorts. The scent isn’t particularly empowering but I could certainly pick up hints of post-thunderstorm air. This might be a familiar sensation to some as Medklinn also supplies commercial sterilisers built on the the same concept to hospitals and supermarkets across the nation. It’s probably what some might imagine an industrial cleanroom would smell like.
Medklinn claims that the difference is more obvious to users who suffer from sinus allergies. We’ve also heard good things about the device’s odour-eliminating properties from drivers who smoke in their vehicles.
A few things to consider…
While Medklinn’s designers have done a commendable job with a look and feel that fits the automotive theme pretty well, the Autoplus steriliser is still a relatively bulky device. This is especially evident in newer, minimalistic cabins. It’s bigger than some gear knobs – Porsche’s mini ‘thumb drive’ shifter for one – and if your car doesn’t have a lighter socket to plug it in, you’ll need to fork out an additional RM199 for a docking station that takes up an entire cupholder and requires wiring to the nearest USB port. So, it’s not exactly ideal for drivers who like to maintain a clean aesthetic.
Speaking of costs, the device requires maintenance in the form of a yearly Cerafusion cartridge replacement. The cartridge costs RM90, which works up to about a fifth of the Autoplus’s overall price (RM439 per device inclusive of cartridge), and about RM0.25 a day. It’s a fractional addition to any existing upkeep costs, which still brings us directly to the biggest question: is it worth it?
Verdict – Worth the investment?
Is my cabin cleaner? Am I breathing in better air when I drive? Are my lungs healthier as a result? I would certainly like to think so. I’ve definitely not fallen sick since using installing Medklinn Autoplus in my car. But there is no way for me to categorically prove that it’s the device’s doing, in the same way those of us who have been fortunate enough to dodge a deadly virus cannot be absolutely certain that the masks we’re wearing on a daily basis and all the handwashing we’ve been doing are the precise reasons behind our clean bills of health; sheer luck and social disconnect could help too.
The new normal has already forced us to put aside a few extra bucks to spend on these pandemic-era ‘necessities’ anyway. And at a time when risk management is key, I don’t see any harm in topping up for something that scientists and medical practitioners can get behind, if you can afford it of course. Inside our vehicles is where many of us spend the bulk of our time in after our homes and offices. Since we’re already taking every precaution we can to minimise our chances of falling ill, it only makes sense to try doing the same behind the wheel.
After all, there really isn't all that much to lose, but potentially a lot to gain.
In the spirit of staying safe, Medklinn is offering a 20 per cent discount off its products exclusively to TopGear Malaysia readers for a limited time.
Just enter the promo code topgear2368 at checkout to enjoy 20 per cent off Medklinn Autoplus Air+Surface Sterilizers. The discount is also applicable to the Autoplus + Docking Combo. This code is only redeemable via the official Medklinn website from now until 15 June 2021. It’s also limited to the first 200 redemptions, so you better hurry up!
CLICK HERE to purchase Autoplus from the official Medklinn website now.