From monitoring vital signs to its basic function – filtering polluted air all the while translating speech into other languages; masks have acquired a multi-utility property. According to an independent report, this ongoing pandemic has propelled the demand for masks and in-turn has created an unusual fashion trend. Wearing masks have become the new normal and this phenomenon has given birth to the idea of high-tech masks. Various tech companies and researchers are coming up with weirdly wonderful concepts of masks that carry out both the functions efficiently; covering against infections with technologically advanced aesthetic look.
In Japan, Donut-Robotics (a startup) has come up with the wackiest ‘C-Face’ mask which not only just covers the face but helps the users in maintaining social distancing along with acting as a translator. A ‘C-Face’ mask wearer’s speech is transmitted to a smartphone via an app and permits the users to have fruitful communication while keeping the distance of up to 10 metres (32 feet). Taisuke One, Chief Executive of Donut Robotics says, “Despite the coronavirus, we sometimes need to meet directly with each other.”
High-Tech masks are incredibly effective when it comes to having a doctor patient engagement, especially while communicating from a safe distance. The ‘C-Face’ mask’s lightweight silicone device can help doctors in communicating better with patients, where it can translate the speech from Japanese into English, Korean, other languages. This is going to prove very useful once all travel restrictions are lifted. Although, the mask does not independently offer protection against Covid-19. It has to be worn over a regular face covering mask. The ‘C-Face’ mask is going on sale in February 2021 at the price point of 4000 yen ($40).
Another face mask developed in Singapore facilitates protection for medics who are working at the frontlines for treating Covid-19 patients. Technologically equipped, these masks can track body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and communicate the related information to a smartphone through a Bluetooth medium. Loh Xian Jun, one of the lead scientists behind the invention shares, “Many of these frontline workers will be exposed to patients when they are taking their vital signs.” This device could also help monitor the vital signs of different migrant workers who stayed in various dormitories that incubated massive virus outbreaks in the state for the year.
People who were looking for taking on the effects of air pollution have found their solution in an air purifier mask developed by South Korea’s LG Electronics. The tech giant’s simple but futuristic device can fit comfortably around the wearer’s lower part of the face intelligently covering mouth, nose, and chin. The mask has two filters on both sides and fans that helps streamlining the airflow. It is said that the filters resemble the ones that the company uses for its home air purifiers and is capable of blocking 99.95% of harmful particles.