Latest inventions during pandemic: Romanian wins MIT big prize with smart face mask. Finnish company invents anti-bacteria gloves

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More and more innovation items and devices come up on the market to tackle the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A Romanian-born young man has won a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media contest with a “smart” face mask that integrates temperature sensors and a filter ventilation system. The product is a minimalist, transparent mask featuring a biosensor that can connect to a smartphone.

The Social Mask solution was developed by Ciprian Burzo. This type of face mask pairs with a mobile device application to check the wearer’s proximity to other users and determine the possibility of viral infection. With an emphasis on a modern, lightweight look and feel, the face mask would be made of materials like polycarbonate or polypropylene to accommodate for allergies while maintaining functionality.

For the time being, the face mask invented by Ciprian Burzo is an emerging prototype.

Connecting the mask with our smartphone is a real option for the future. We should know who is infected in our area, and get informed on our smartphone about what the biosensor has detected based on surrounding particles. These are just a few of the options that will surely feature in the mask of the future,” Ciprian told calvertjournal.com.

MIT Pandemic Response CoLab is a joint project by the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI), MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative, and founding member MilliporeSigma, the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which seeks to develop innovative solutions to fight this and future pandemics.

Finnish company invents gloves treated to eliminate min. 99% of bacteria and viruses

Hofler Oy from Oulu, Finland is the first company in the world to develop a glove with a natural based treatment that eliminates viruses and bacteria by min. 99%.

“The idea for the glove came from the consumer´s needs. Especially now during COVID-19, we felt really important to develop a glove that also has a protective function.”

The natural based antimicrobial treatment of the glove is sustainably produced from side-streams of the forest industry. The treatment is non-toxic and does not contain heavy metals or harmful chemicals and it is patented worldwide. The gloves are treated on the inside and on the outside of the glove to enable maximum protection.

The gloves are designed for everyday use, but they are also ideal for working e.g. in the home care, retail stores, restaurants and so on. The reusable glove also significantly reduces the consumption of disposable gloves and hand disinfectants. If stained, the gloves can also be machine washed up to 30 times without them losing their antimicrobial properties.

Hofler Biotech UT is a thin and shape fitted knitted glove that also has touch screen feature.

“The Hofler Biotech UT glove is like a second skin and you can wear it both indoors and outdoors all day long,” says Timo Räihä, EVP at Hofler Oy.

Gloves are available for both women and men in several colors. The price has been able to keep affordable thanks to the highly automated production. Hofler Biotech gloves will come to the market in January.

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