Before going to the future, let’s think about why is it essential to wear a face mask during this time? How effective is it to wear a face mask? In the recent tweet by Rich Davis, Director of microbiology at the Providence Secret heart medical center in Washington, he demonstrated the difference between wearing a mask and not wearing a mask. He sneezed, talked, sang, and cough while wearing a mask towards an agar cultural plate, he did the same exercise without wearing a mask. This experiment tells what the mask does. It blocks the respiratory droplets coming through the mouth and throat or virtually stops the bacteria colonies to spread in the air. To prove his experiment, the tweet was accompanied by some photographs of cultural plates.
With the increase in several coronavirus cases worldwide hit the barrier of 14 million today. It is certain that Covid-19 is going to stay for a longer bit till the time an effective vaccine is found. Until then, what stays between the people in the face mask. Recent updates by WHO also claimed that coronavirus can be airborne which makes it more essential.
Now when everyone is trying to deal with Covid-19, How will the face mask adapts to the human needs? How will it affect human expressions and communication?
Wearing a mask is the new normal. So what transformations will they need to undergo to become lifestyle essential?
The phenomenon of face masks comes into a vogue whenever there is an epidemic or disease outbreak. The current pandemic has already seen a global death toll crossing 578,000 deaths. Even earlier, almost nine million people die every year owing to air pollution. Post-pandemic, people will become more comfortable living with face masks, as pollution is going to continue because the way we live is not going to change any soon.
Therefore, designers are looking to create customized masks depending on the people and age groups. Technologies will be used to create “smarter masks”. These types of masks include functions like Smart-voice assistant, Bluetooth, cooling techniques, and help people to talk freely through masks. This is just the beginning, an exciting evolution awaits. More innovative features can be done like bone-conduction headphones paired with masks, a transparent design- not only protect a user but also able to see their expressions and rechargeable batteries for masks.
What is the need of Nanotech filters in the masks?
The main purpose of the face masks is the protection, the quality of the fabric is the one that protects. It’s the capability to filter and the material used is the one to be kept in mind. There are several types of masks from normal used for air pollution to surgical masks used by doctors to protect them against large airborne particles. But what would work perfectly for coronavirus?
According to the research, the particles of Covid-19 is approximately 0.125 micron or 125 nanometers in diameter. To keep out something this small, the masks need finer techniques of nanotech and nanofibres. The masks like HEPA or N95 only filters down to 0.3 microns only if you are wearing them correctly. On the other hand, the mask cannot fight the 120-nanometer problem with the 300-nanometer solution. Therefore, for better filtration, Clean air solution company Nirvana Being introduced anti-viral and anti-pollution masks which use a unique nanotech filter. Similarly, Korea Advanced Insitute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea, developed a washable nano-filtered mask, which can be cleaned and disinfected, or reusable.
The face masks of the future do not need to only be the right fit, but also technologically safe and economically sound.
As we talk about such advanced features in masks, it will come with some specific price to buy. While rich and middle-class individuals will be somehow able to take advantage of this technology. But what about others, Will the poor be able to pay such price?