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Swiss Startup Makes Transparent Face Masks [VIDEO]

transparent face masks
Credit: EPFL

With mask-wearing being one of the ways to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, a Swiss startup HMCARE has come up with new transparent face masks design, to help people feel much comfortable while talking. Now, the startup company has raised over $105 million to commercialize the sales of the new surgical products.

New Transparent Face Masks Will Bring Comfort To Caregivers

I’m sure you’re aware that wearing face masks comes with lots of discomfort for most users. Apart from helping to curb the spread of coronavirus, they can sometimes be annoying to put on. According to some people, wearing of face masks causes fog on their glasses. When they exhale warm air without putting on masks, the air dissipates into the atmosphere. However, when they do it with their masks on, the air tends to travel up into the bifocals, causing them to fog.

Also, most disposable masks restrict airflow, making breathing more difficult for users. The major challenge so far with disposable masks is that most times it can be impersonal. As such, it becomes challenging for caregivers and healthcare workers to comfort their patients through facial expressions.

Although healthcare workers and other caregivers have been living with these issues for a long time, it seems the time to move past them is almost here. That’s because a startup company has come up with a new and transparent design for face masks.

In a way to provide a lasting solution to the issues attached to mask-wearing, some people have shared prototypes of transparent face masks online. However, the problem with the designs is that they involve replacing a part of the mask with a plastic panel. That causes a reduction in users’ ability to breathe fine and it also causes their glasses to fog up.

Now, a Swiss startup has come with a better alternative, which addresses most of the issues faced by the disposable face masks. The result came after the researchers have spent the last two years experiencing and ensuring that everything works fine.

The Design

According to the researchers that manufactured the transparent face masks, they’re inspired by a few things. One of them is the healthcare workers during the outbreak of Ebola in 2015.

The prototype of the transparent face masks material was gotten from Thierry Pelet, the CEO of the startup company. He approached his EPFL colleagues with it, and they worked with Swiss materials center Empa, to create a new type of textile.

They were able to utilize biomass-derived transparent fibers at 100 nanometers apart, to form a sheet. After that, they tripled the layers and turned it into a flexible, breathable, and near-transparent face masks, called HelloMasks.

So far, HMCARE has raised up to $105 million to commercialize the sales of the transparent face masks. There’s a possibility that the mask will launch in Q1 of 2021.

About the author

Jike Eric

Jike Eric

Jike Eric has completed his degree program in Chemical Engineering. Jike covers general news items, technology articles, and e-learning content.




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