Clear masks or masks with a clear window

Shoot, they all appear to be face shields, not masks. I can’t see any filtering going on there. But I’m on my phone, so maybe I just can’t see it.

I’m on an iPad Pro. I’m not seeing any filtering either. Would deflect snot or spittle but virus-laden air can still flow in and out.

I’m waiting for a Kickstarter that’s a transparent mask with n95 filtering. It’s made of soft silicone and sticks to your face (in theory). If it works, I’ll be excited to use it.

I mean, I’m going to trust them that the filter tested as n95 or n99 or whatever. But I can tell whether it actually sticks to my face or leaks, and how easy it is to breathe, and whether it fogs it your can actually see through it.

Interesting. Keep us updated.

Now that is an interesting design. It claims to seal all the way around the face and be soft so it flexes as you move your face like talking. If so, and it provides N95 filtering, it’s revolutionary.

Though I notice it won’t work well with facial hair. Might still improve the glasses fogging situation with a good skin seal across the nose.

I wonder how comfortable it will be. I’m reluctant to use any kind of adhesive to seal my mask around my nose because I’m afraid of it annoying my cheeks and constant use irritating it to sores. I get this isn’t supposed to be like tape or a bandaid, more like rubber gloves. Still.

They claim both that it can work with (smaller) beards and that the adhesive is something that’s used to help damaged skin heal or something. I guess I’ll find out how it works for me if it ever shows up.

(They are currently shooting for March, which is of course a lot later than initially planned. Kickstarters are like that. They are currently citing hold-ups with the first batch of mass-produced masks and separately holdups with the independent labs they have lined up to test and certify their product (MIT’s Lincoln Labs and SGS Labs.)

I’m also waiting for another kickstarter mask that’s supposed to have a UV feature in addition to a filter. That’s being held up because the battery needs to be certified to be imported. I think they thought the battery was approved, but it turns out that there’s a separate level of testing required for batteries that are part of a medical device, and this got classified as such.

(Did I mention that I’m a big believer in masks to reduce the spread of disease?)

One issue I see with a lot of the clear masks on kickstarter is that the actual filter itself is pretty small, which means it may be hard to breathe through. I don’t doubt the filters themselves are N95-100, but that kind of filter can be pretty hard to breathe through even in a standard-sized mask. If instead the filter is just a little strip of material, it may be more like breathing through a straw. With such a small filter area, I would think there would have to be some kind of fan to force the air through or else it would be too uncomfortable to wear for long periods.

One mask that may work is this clear mask from Razer:

It has powered ventilators in addition to bonus goodies like voice amplification and customizable LEDs. This kind of powered mask is likely what would be needed for a clear mask that could be worn for long periods of time.

Yes, I wonder about that. I picked up some of these:

and they include an enormous expanse of filter. And even so, their descriptive material says they chose to go with an n90 filter instead of n95 so it’s easier to breath. Admittedly, this was originally designed for exercising in polluted air, and the company pivoted to “virus protection” when it became obvious that would be a large market. A mask for grocery shopping or waiting to see the doctor doesn’t need to be as breathable as a mask for running. But still – even with that huge filter, they worried about breathability.

(This mask is easy to breath through, by the way, but I don’t find the hard plastic frame very comfortable, as it’s designed for someone with a flatter nose. It seals well, due to the silicone, but the bridge of my nose gets sore if I wear it for very long.)

Interesting. But looking at the pics, the face visibility isn’t as good as they imply, and this is going to be expensive.