Some developers and executives felt their throats burn. At least one employee had trouble breathing. She decided to leave. But before heading home, she stopped inside the building where Andreas Larsson and his team were testing the Pure A9, an IoT-connected air purifier built with Microsoft Azure.

…Electrolux has a smart air purifier that lets you breathe easy, even in polluted cities.

We had 10 or 15 Pure A9 air purifiers and turned them all on,” recalls Larsson, engineering director at Electrolux. “That made a significant change in air quality. We asked her to come into our office, sit down and just work there. She took some deep breaths. She was happy. She stayed for the rest of the day.”

The Pure A9 – launched March 1 in four Nordic countries plus Switzerland and, previously, in Korea – removes ultra-fine dust particles, pollutants, bacteria, allergens and bad odors from indoor rooms.

The triangular device is equipped with a 3-D camera for smart navigation.

Moreover, its Azure IoT platform helped get the product to market quickly while also enabling developers to update software and add features after launch, Larsson says. Newer features include a map view showing where the Pure i9 has cleaned.

The roaming robot is now available in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including China. Cloud data from the device also led Electrolux to launch a unique trial in Sweden: vacuum-as-a-service.

Consumers in that country can buy a $8-per-month subscription to the Pure i9 and get 80 square meters of floor cleaning, Larsson says.

“You only pay for what you use,” Larsson says. “This is not possible unless it is connected to the cloud or unless we have the data. With this kind of product, we see business alternatives we’ve never been able to do before.”

That trial underscores the digital ambitions of a 100-year-old brand once known for its canister vacuums. Today, Electrolux also manufactures and sells ovens, refrigerators, washers, dryers, water heaters and an array of other household gadgetry.

An app for the Pure A9 gives users valuable data on the state of their air. Following the Pure i9’s launch in 2017, “it soon became clear that this was not going to be a one-off product,” Larsson says. “An ambitious plan to create an ecosystem of smart, networking products … started to