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Sunglass lens to clear panels: How innovators experimented with face masks

Here are some unique masks or shields that were made amid the pandemic

mask, face shieldThe year 2020 saw a range of innovative masks and shields being made. (joedoucet_/Instagram, laurelleafchat/Instagram)

Printed, designer masks began as a hot trend around the earlier months this year, soon after fashion labels, entrepreneurs and homemakers started stitching them in various patterns and designs.

In these past few months, such masks have become a common item in our closets; by now, many of us have a collection of printed masks that we often mix and match with our clothes.

But some innovators went ahead to experiment further with masks and created new versions of the ‘new normal’ protective equipment. Here we list some of these masks or shields that caught our eye:

Mask with raw camphor: Adding to the variety of designer masks, Gaurav Gupta chose to showcase traditional Pattachira craft of Odisha and West Bengal in the masks he produced. On taking a closer look, one can see the words “love” and “hope” written on them. But that is not all. The masks have little pockets stitched to them for containing raw camphor.

Mask with fans: LG Electronics came up with a high-tech PuriCare wearable mask with two fans and high-efficiency air filters, in an effort to ease breathing inside the mask while preventing spectacles from fogging up.

Leather mask: In July 2020, James, a UK-based artisanal leatherworker designed a 59-piece mask inspired by ‘face hugger’ from the ‘Alien’ film franchise. The brown mask featured spider-like limbs tied around the back of the head and a long tail around the neck.

Mask with clear panels: Masks with clear panels around the mouth were developed by Caire Cross, a 45-year-old furloughed pub manager from Devon, England, to help those with hearing disability and relied on lip-reading.

Lady Gaga’s customised masks: The international singing sensation appeared at the 2020 MTV VMAs, sporting a range of unique masks. In one of the looks, she was seen wearing a pink helmet-like mask, in another, she wore an electric face mask. She was also seen wearing a customised black mask with metallic spikes and silver-coloured chains.

lady gaga face mask Lady Gaga sported some quirky masks at MTV VMAs 2020. (File)

Shield with sunglass: Designer Joe Doucet recently came with a face shield fitted with sunglass lenses and an arm to make it easier for the user to wear. The face shield also has a blue light protective mechanism to reduce stress on the eyes caused by light emitted from mobiles and laptops.


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A post shared by Joe Doucet (@joedoucet_)

Full face mask: What is being deemed India’s first full-face mask, AARMR MEDEX 99 has been designed and developed by Desmania for frontline warriors. This transparent mask ensures easy face recognition. It is fitted with four nanosurge filters, including on the top and sides, for better breathability and protection. It is also designed to accommodate spectacles and other eyewear.

face mask Full face mask designed by Desmania (PR handout)

Space helmet: This emerged as a pandemic trend with many companies making protective transparent helmets — from hazmat helmet with anti-fog windows and air-purifiers by Toronto-based VYZR Technologies to fishbowl-like helmet ‘isphere’ by Germany-base Plastique Fantastique, fitted with shade, filter, valve and ventilator.

What other types of masks or shields have you seen this year?

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First published on: 15-12-2020 at 02:10:07 pm
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