Since last year, the UK has adopted facemasks and coverings in effort to protect the population and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A year on, a quarter of the population has been vaccinated against COVID-19; yet reports suggest facemasks will be around for a long-time once the vaccination quota has been met.
Facemasks have been at the centre of many debates, including their effectiveness against protecting those who wear them and curbing the spread of transmission.
Not only that, but the environmental impact of disposable facemasks has also come under scrutiny, as The Guardian reported that more than 53 million masks are ending up in landfill each day in the UK.
To add further colour to the discussion, many people have complained about how facemasks muffle speech, causing further difficulties for those who are hard of hearing.
Enter the ‘Smart’ technology…
What are smart facemasks?
We live in a time where innovation is at our fingertips and technological developments are being made at a rapid pace.
Today’s problems require modern solutions, that’s why companies have been exploring ways to add high-tech features to facemasks, focused on safety and utility.
Maskfone combines health and entertainment with its built-in wireless earbud set in addition to a 5-layer filtration system.
Using its built-in earphones and a microphone, you can make phone calls without sounding muffled.
The outside shell is machine washable; all the user has to do is replace the N95 filter when needed.
AirPop Active Plus Halo Plus Mask:
Unsurprisingly, many people who wear disposable facemasks don’t dispose of them after each use.
The same goes for facemasks with changeable filters – they don’t get changed.
Airpop’s Active Plus Halo Mask is equipped with sensors inside of the mask which measure your breathing rate.
It combines this measurement with local air quality data to alert you when you need to replace the filter.
When it’s time to replace the filter, you’ll need to use the Airpop App to scan the filter’s QR code to ensure it’s genuine and allow the mask to log when the filter was last changed.
The Active Plus Halo Mask also offers N-99 protection, which is greater than N-95 and will protect you from gases, aerosols, and other pollutants.
Razer Hazel Mask:
Gaming and PC company, Razor, has recently launched a smart mask prototype called Project Hazel.
Project Hazel has a clear, transparent design which makes it easier to understand speech as well as pick up on facial cues.
Thanks to a built-in mic and amplifier combo, Razer’s technology ensures your speech isn’t muffled when you’re masked up.
As standard, the mask has a high bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) to N95 standard and comes with a special charging case lined with a UV light interior which kills bacteria and viruses as the mask powers up.
Over the past year, we have faced unprecedented times, which as a result, has forced us to adapt and evolve in ways we never thought we would. In just 9 months, pharmaceutical companies have developed a vaccine against a never-seen-before virus and companies like those above have designed masks to help solve further problems caused by the pandemic.
At Soumac, we love to see the technological developments being made across all sectors and are always on hand to support businesses with their printed circuit board needs to help bring their ideas to life.
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