US government launches $500,000 competition to find a better mask design

midian182

Posts: 6,560   +58
Staff member
In brief: Mask wearing has become a familiar sight across the world, but many people dislike wearing them for a variety of design-related reasons. If you think you can come up with something better, the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is willing to pay up to $500,000 for your ideas.

The Mask Innovation Challenge aims to find designs that address some of the issues discouraging people from wearing masks. Anyone who uses glasses, for example, will know the frustration of walking around blind as their lenses fog up. There’s also the skin irritation that some wearers experience, the actual discomfort masks cause, and the nightmare of trying to communicate with someone who can neither hear you properly nor see your mouth. Additionally, some masks tout levels of protection without any scientific evidence backing up these claims.

Designing the masks, which must be mass-producible and low-cost-per-use devices, is broken into two phases. Phase one is split into two tracks: improving upon already existing designs, and incorporating new technologies and materials that have not yet been included in current masks. Up to ten winners of this phase will receive up to $10,000 each.

Phase two is the proof-of-concept stage. This part requires participants to submit their solutions in response to a hypothetical scenario with a brand-new design not based on current masks. Finalists must present prototypes for proof-of-concept testing by NIOSH laboratories. A total prize pool of $400,000 will be divided among five winners.

Entries for phase one must be submitted by April 21, 2021, using the provided template and be no more than 7 pages maximum, including a cover page, proposed design description, and schematics/figures. More details on phase two will arrive at a later date.

Last month we heard that Razer really would be making its RGB-packed Project Hazel mask shown off at CES. It solves some usual issues thanks to its transparency and embedded microphones that amplify and enhance voices.

Masthead image credit: Maridav

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kimo1

Posts: 213   +388
Just recycle used condoms and make face condoms: 100% protection against air.

Or ofc, you could always admit that wuhan flu is bs and people should immediately go outside, into the sun, into the nature, breathe fresh air... as human has been doing for millions of years without becoming extinct.
 

McKocoa

Posts: 27   +39
More research and RCTs are needed to find the most effective filter material, education about mask handling would be beneficial, and reminding people that masks are not silver bullets is also important. Something like forced air HEPA filter face masks or electrostatic filters might actually be efficacious.
 

hover389

Posts: 23   +27
Yes lets start a competition to make a better mask at the tail end of the pandemic when vaccines are widely available and when masks wont be mandated within a few months....
 

comnut

Posts: 33   +14
Just recycle used condoms and make face condoms: 100% protection against air.

Or ofc, you could always admit that wuhan flu is bs and people should immediately go outside, into the sun, into the nature, breathe fresh air... as human has been doing for millions of years without becoming extinct.

and then you develop a truly *awful** cough....
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,668   +2,007
Gee, the GOVERNMENT wants a better mask design? Why not use crisper "technology", change the dna so you are born with a built in one. LOL
Screw the masks anyway.
 

comnut

Posts: 33   +14
People’s faces are all different.

People’s individual needs are different.

The human face isn’t evolved for masks.

There is no perfect mask design.
Is this another joke??? adjustable hats and balaclavas have NO problem... Now just make them about some thing **impermeable** and easily wiped down... similar to what most covid nurses wear..
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,580   +4,924
Is this another joke??? adjustable hats and balaclavas have NO problem... Now just make them about some thing **impermeable** and easily wiped down... similar to what most covid nurses wear..


You were just anxious to reply. You spent time thinking about whether you could but didn’t stop to think about whether you should.
 

Just recycle used condoms and make face condoms: 100% protection against air.

Or ofc, you could always admit that wuhan flu is bs and people should immediately go outside, into the sun, into the nature, breathe fresh air... as human has been doing for millions of years without becoming extinct.
You mean like when the Bubonic Plague or Smallpox was around?
 
I am so fed up with the Covid thing. They should try to speak about something else on the news. Thank God it's not the Spanish influenza or they would be speaking the whole day and night about it. Will they stop?
So the Spanish Flu killed something like over 50 million in 2 years. That would be the equivalent of over 200 million today or 100 million over the past year.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 259   +223
We see Microsoft copying miners for cooling . You can see rioters , prisoners come up with ideas with limited resources vs pepper spray etc . Yes QP people's faces are all different - but the advances in material sciences , engineering has come a long way . Personally I would just go with a symbiotic alien lifeform mask myself
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 259   +223
The assumption all small particles are similar are the same , and float around on the wind , and Brownian motion is not correct . Filtering a noble gas like argon may be hard - but most things are sticky or attractive/repulsive to something .
Ps someone needs to ask Yahoo if any bacteria or virus can swim in air
 

Tantor

Posts: 111   +148
yes, whats another few hundred more deaths, then??

Masks have no real effect on overall CV19 deaths. This is well known. The CDC itself came out with a study last month showing that mask usage has almost no benefit. Back in May 2020, the CDC did a review of the 14 biggest mask studies. None of them could find any benefit against viral diseases such as the flu. CV19 is more contagious than flu, so masks are even less effective. You can also compare rates between places that mandate masks vs those that don't. Such as Florida and New York, or North and South Dakota. The difference is minimal.

The only thing that helps is distancing. Unfortunately, many people think masks make them immune, and they take ridiculous risks they shouldn't. Forcing yourself to NOT wear a mask makes you far more aware of the risks. I suspect most people would be more careful, and safer, if they didn't wear a mask.

Prolonged mask wearing can have serious health issues such as bacterial pneumonia, increased mouth bacterial growth, skin rash, lower blood oxygen levels, and more.
 
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kimo1

Posts: 213   +388
I am so fed up with the Covid thing. They should try to speak about something else on the news. Thank God it's not the Spanish influenza or they would be speaking the whole day and night about it. Will they stop?
According to "simulation" by big pharma, wuhan flu will last 4 more years in the west and 9 more years in eastern europe and asia.
It's a trillion dollar, yet another criminal business scheme, from USA, you can't just expect it to end tomorrow.
And there is nothing to put a stop to it earlier as look how many morons we have who just believe absolutely everything told and shown on TV. At worst it will become Adolf Hitler and gas chambers all over... and TV worshippers will be okay with it, just like then.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 259   +223
Masks have no real effect on overall CV19 deaths. This is well known. The CDC itself came out with a study last month showing that mask usage has almost no benefit. Back in May 2020, the CDC did a review of the 14 biggest mask studies. None of them could find any benefit against viral diseases such as the flu. CV19 is more contagious than flu, so masks are even less effective. You can also compare rates between places that mandate masks vs those that don't. Such as Florida and New York, or North and South Dakota. The difference is minimal.

The only thing that helps is distancing. Unfortunately, many people think masks make them immune, and they take ridiculous risks they shouldn't. Forcing yourself to NOT wear a mask makes you far more aware of the risks. I suspect most people would be more careful, and safer, if they didn't wear a mask.

Prolonged mask wearing can have serious health issues such as bacterial pneumonia, increased mouth bacterial growth, skin rash, lower blood oxygen levels, and more.

Well well well - that is NOT what the CDC said - evidence suggests in high risk areas - they may be more beneficial ( from other studies ) - in general public a slight reduction - 2% over 100 days CDC , Not great - but better than nothing . Yes distancing is the best .
It's known it controlled lab tests - Masks are much more effective. Ergo the need for this competition - it is generally accepted Covid 19 main vector is breathing out the virus and not touch .
Have you given up already - think it can't be done ? - well we I think we can make a much more effective Mask - that will filter the virus better and fit the face better and is more foolproof to wear
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 241   +344
Yes lets start a competition to make a better mask at the tail end of the pandemic when vaccines are widely available and when masks wont be mandated within a few months....
This probably isn't the tail end of the epidemic. There are plenty of signs that this flu is something we'll have to live with for years, because neither the vaccines, nor our immunity are permanent. Until we find a cure for it, it'll keep coming back and it'll keep killing off 1-2% and chronically traumatize around 10%.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 241   +344
Masks have no real effect on overall CV19 deaths. This is well known. The CDC itself came out with a study last month showing that mask usage has almost no benefit. Back in May 2020, the CDC did a review of the 14 biggest mask studies. None of them could find any benefit against viral diseases such as the flu. CV19 is more contagious than flu, so masks are even less effective. You can also compare rates between places that mandate masks vs those that don't. Such as Florida and New York, or North and South Dakota. The difference is minimal.

The only thing that helps is distancing. Unfortunately, many people think masks make them immune, and they take ridiculous risks they shouldn't. Forcing yourself to NOT wear a mask makes you far more aware of the risks. I suspect most people would be more careful, and safer, if they didn't wear a mask.

Prolonged mask wearing can have serious health issues such as bacterial pneumonia, increased mouth bacterial growth, skin rash, lower blood oxygen levels, and more.
Are you telling me that hospital workers suffer from widespread bacterial pneumonia, increased mouth bacterial growth, skin rash, lower blood oxygen levels, and more?

Half truths like yours are the problem with trusting weird "news" sources that cherry pick points to build fake arguments.

No one has ever said masks protects yourself from any virus. That has never been the point with masks. We wear them to reduce the spray of nastiness coming from ourselves, spreading to others. That is why masks are necessary. They reduce the spread, not the infection.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,430   +5,213
Ps someone needs to ask Yahoo if any bacteria or virus can swim in air
Yahoo is garbage, especially their email.

Now OTOH, Google probably already has the answer to this. God knows, they follow enough people around closely enough, they should at least have a general idea.

Although it has to be noted, that since virus particles don't buy ad space, Google doesn't have much of a vested interest in how they behave.
 
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Avro Arrow

Posts: 986   +1,130
TechSpot Elite
The problem with this is that the development of a better mask would cost more than $500,000. Since everything in a NeoLiberal Capitalist Economy is based on profitability, nothing will get done.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 986   +1,130
TechSpot Elite
According to "simulation" by big pharma, wuhan flu will last 4 more years in the west and 9 more years in eastern europe and asia.
It's a trillion dollar, yet another criminal business scheme, from USA, you can't just expect it to end tomorrow.
And there is nothing to put a stop to it earlier as look how many morons we have who just believe absolutely everything told and shown on TV. At worst it will become Adolf Hitler and gas chambers all over... and TV worshippers will be okay with it, just like then.
Boy, you're really smart. Are you a member of QAnon as well?

My uncle in Montreal was hit with the "fake" Sars-CoV-2 virus and contracted COVID-19. I honestly thought that he was going to die because he was 76 years old at the time. He miraculously survived but there was nothing "FAKE" about it.

People like you contribute to the death toll that this virus has had. I find it extremely offensive that some "know-nothing-know-it-all" is calling a virus that nearly killed a family member of mine "bs". I do know better than to trust corporate news but I also know to trust first-hand experience and this virus IS NOT FAKE, nor is the danger that it presents.

The easiest way to tell that someone is small-minded is their complete inability to accept that just because they've been lucky enough for something bad not to happen to them doesn't mean that it doesn't happen at all.