Designers in Italy created a 180-degree inflatable face shield that could given out at places like stores and restaurants cheaply
A team of Italian designers came together to create a prototype for an inflatable, reusable face shield. Soffio consists of a plastic visor and inflatable frame. It will go into production soon, with adult and children's sizes. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The post-COVID-19 world will undoubtedly look different from the world before, but exactly how it will look is still in flux. Masks will likely be part of the new normal, but they might look more like these inflatable shields designed by Alessio Casciano Design, Angeletti Ruzza Design Studio, and MARGstudio, rather than a standard N95 or surgical mask. The design is called Soffio, meaning "blow" or "puff" in Italian, a nod to the inflatable nature of the masks. Right now, designers around the world are creating prototypes in the hopes of making visiting the beach or eating in restaurants safe again. Even nightlife is being reimagined with a futuristic suit with built-in drinking and vaping containers. At this early stage, no one knows for sure what designs might take off and become essential, but they give an idea about what kind of PPE might be possible. For Soffio, designers plan to start production soon, in child and adult sizes. They also have plans to create a tighter fitting version of the mask for athletics. Here's how the inflatable face mask works. SEE ALSO: An Israeli company created a remotely controlled face mask that can be worn while eating — here's what it's like Soffio is 180-degree barrier that blocks droplets containing the coronavirus.
It comes in a small package, like in the photo, and is immediately ready to be inflated and worn.
The design is simple, with a plastic visor, inflatable visor, and strap in the back.
Designer Angeletti Ruzza suggested to Business Insider that restaurants could hand out the masks to customers when they enter. Customers could then bring them home to clean and reuse.
The creators came up with the concept when their clients, mostly bars and restaurants, asked for creative and practical solutions to allow businesses to reopen.
"I saw proposals for expensive, difficult to maintain and ugly plexiglass mazes separating costumers like inmates in a prison. Those solutions kill the conviviality customers are looking for when they wish to spend quality time with their friends" designer Annalisa Grasselli said.
While wearing the mask, people can still eat and maintain eye contact with others.
It could also be made from recycled plastic, and cost less than one euro, or about $1.09.
Grasselli called the design "tongue in cheek," noting that the bright inflatables nod to the typical summer spent at the beach that won't happen in much of the world this year.