Enterprise and hobbyist makers all over the world have pledged their help for face masks necessities introduced forth by the COVID-19 pandemic—however these aren’t your conventional N95 masks. These firms, startups, college college students, and hobbyist makers have entered the market with a wide range of distinctive digital designs, redefining the “new regular” of public mask-wearing.
Listed below are just a few that not too long ago made headlines.
A Masks for Any Event
Engineers, in true to type vogue, have pivoted with altering societal tendencies and time-to-market pressures to carry new designs and client items to market.
Sanitizing and Air Purifying Masks
At IFA 2020 in early September, LG introduced the PuriCare wearable air purifier along with a UV-enabled case for sanitation. The design makes use of a patented respiratory sensor and twin followers to absorb clear filtered air with various fan pace to permit regular respiratory.
LG expertise PuriCare wearable air air purifier with detachable filters. Picture used courtesy of LG
Ergonomically designed for a full day’s use, the 820 mAh battery can maintain the machine for eight hours on low mode at 25℃.
Biometric Monitoring Masks
One other innovation comes from Vita Improvements with its flagship product, VitalMask. The startup shaped in April 2020 after profitable AI Well being Hackathon hosted by Cornell Medication’s Scientific and Translational Science Heart alongside Entrepreneurship at Cornell. The 3D printed masks locations sensors across the earlobes, nostril, and mouth.
3D printed VitalMask conceptual mannequin with an earpiece. A HEPA filter is in entrance, together with an electronics compartment along side the masks. Picture courtesy of Cornell Chronicle
These sensors monitor physique temperature, coronary heart price, blood oxygen ranges, and respiration to be used in hospitals. The group behind the expertise won the grand prize of $2,000 at the hackathon and took the third-place $500 prize within the particular class sponsored by IBM.
An LED “Speaking” Masks
In June, BBC’s Chris Fox interviewed maker Tyler Glaiel about his homemade electronic face mask. Tyler used an Arduino Nano, together with an LED array to provide a light-weight sample that mimics the movement of the mouth when talking.
Chris Fox (pictured) says an LED matrix is on the coronary heart of the maker face masks expertise produced by Tyler Glaiel. Picture used courtesy of BBC
It addresses a problem that’s lacking within the extra superior medical units, which is the power to see when a consumer is speaking.
Language Translation Masks
Donut Robotics not too long ago launched the C-FACE, a face mask technology that translates Japanese into eight other languages—breaking down limitations in a post-pandemic socially-distanced world.
The digital wearable connects to any present mesh masks and connects via a Bluetooth tethered mobile machine to translate a customers’ spoken phrase into textual content on the cellphone. The C-FACE leverages present robotics IP to translate Japanese into eight different languages.
In an interview with Reuters, Taisuke Ono, chief government of Donut Robotics, explains, “We labored onerous for years to develop a robotic and we have used that technology to create a product that responds to how the coronavirus has reshaped society.”
The C-FACE is mounted on an present masks, offering translation between Japanese and English through tethered software program expertise. Picture used courtesy of Donut Robotics
Donut Robotics tasks that it’s going to ship an preliminary order of 5,000 C-FACE to shoppers in Japan with a powerful curiosity in manufacturing for different markets within the close to future.
Digital Face Masks are Right here to Keep
Face masks, it appears, are right here to remain. In response, many particular person engineers and producers are banking on a brand new market of digital face wearables—whether or not it’s for medical monitoring, air filtration, enjoyable maker tasks, or language translation.
Have you ever heard of any fascinating electronics tasks underway as a response to the pandemic? Share what you’ve got discovered within the feedback under.