This Cyberpunk Mask Knows When Others Are Around

Chen the DesignMaker’s mask shuts when it sees people, then opens when you're alone or need a drink.

Jeremy S. Cook
3 months agoWearables / COVID-19

Today many of us wear face masks when making trips outside of the house in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. While this appears to be somewhat effective, you’re not likely to transfer the virus when no one is around. So what if there was a way to apply this protection only when necessary? That’s the idea behind Chen the DesignMaker’s “shy face mask."

Chen first mocked up this concept using cardboard, then modeled it in Fusion 360 and printed the structure. The device fits over his face, and features a small door on the front that swings open and closes using a linkage system.

To detect humans, or really any movement, a trio of PIR sensors are arranged around the mask, with two facing toward the front and one in the back. LEDs next to each sensor indicate blue for monitoring or red for active. If any one of the three sensors trigger, the door shuts. The wearable is controlled by an Arduino Nano, with a protoboard extension for extra 5V and ground pins.

The project is tested in the video below. While drinking, even through a straw, is a rather dicey proposition, it would at least serve to keep someone cool. Chen points out that this is just a conceptual model, and doesn’t actually have protective properties, so you’re certainly better off with your “traditional” N95 mask for the time being!

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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