Apple’s design teams have created two kinds of protective masks that are now being distributed to retail and corporate employees, reports Bloomberg.
The two masks are called the Apple Face Mask and the Apple ClearMask and were developed in-house in Cupertino by the Engineering and Industrial Design teams. Last week, an Apple employee sent MacRumors an image of the mask design.
The Apple Face Mask features a three-layer design that filters both incoming and outgoing particles like many cloth masks, and it can be washed and reused up to five times. The mask has a design with a triangle shape to accommodate the nose without fogging glasses, a rounded section for the chin, and adjustable strings for the ears.
The ClearMask is the first FDA-cleared surgical mask that is completely transparent. It shows the entire face so that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can understand what the wearer is saying.
Apple told Bloomberg that it conducted “careful research and testing” to find appropriate materials to filter the air while not disrupting supplies of medical personal protective equipment.
Apple’s employees will begin receiving Apple Face Masks over the course of the next two weeks. Apple also provides basic surgical masks to customers who visit its stores, but these are not Apple-designed masks.
Update: Apple has informed Bloomberg that it only designed the Apple Face Mask. The ClearMask was sourced in partnership with Gallaudet University, which specializes in educating deaf and and hard of hearing students, and it was tested with Apple employees. Apple is working on its own transparent mask options for future use.
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