Inventors take excessive-tech helmets for Covid safety

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By Stav Dimitropoulos

Enterprise reporter

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image copyrightVZYR Technologies

image captionYezin Al-Qaysi says that individuals of the general public normally query about his tool

For the past two months inventor Yezin Al-Qaysi has been using the Toronto subway in Canada wearing an mammoth dim “angry helmet”.

The hazmat (perilous offers) helmet entirely encloses his head and upper torso, and has a visor that extends the general formulation all of the blueprint down to his chest.

On the again is a battery-powered fan and filter respirator system that purifies air that is sucked in, and pushes “venerable” air out.

Taking a glimpse fancy a dystopian settle straight out of an apocalyptic movie, the 32-year-frail unsurprisingly will get some actual reactions.

“Anyone screamed: ‘The put did you discover that!’ and a couple of individuals methodology me out of curiosity,” he says.

“Others are amazed.. They no doubt don’t giggle, but even within the event that they attain, I cannot see their mouths because all people appears to be like to be wearing masks.”

image copyrightVZYR Technologies

image captionThe BioVYZR helmet would possibly moreover be mature whenever you breeze online

Mr Al-Qaysi is opinion to be one of a form of designers and entrepreneurs all the blueprint thru the field who like rushed to launch hazmat, or PAPR (powered air purifying respirator), helmets this year, aimed at people searching for to search out more safety in opposition to coronavirus than correct wearing a face conceal.

His is called the BioVYZR, and the battery is expounded to final for up to 12 hours. The Canadian says that his trade – VZYR Technologies – now has gross sales within the “tens of hundreds” sign.

US Navy frail Chris Ehlinger, is another hazmat helmet creator.

“These helmets in a sense psychologically put collectively us for the lengthy bustle destiny of our species,” says the 35-year-frail.

His firm, Valhalla Medical Fabricate, based fully in Austin, Texas, has launched a product called NE-1, which looks the same to a motorcycle helmet. Moreover to a powered air filtration system, it has internal and exterior microphones and audio system, so that the wearer can more without remark talk to people spherical her or him.

image copyrightValhalla Medical Fabricate

image captionThe NE-1 has built-in audio system and microphones, so the wearer can without remark search the recommendation of with different people

It even has Bluetooth audio built in, so you would possibly well moreover accomplish a phone call or pay consideration to song.

But with a coronavirus vaccine having been announced final week, are helmets fancy these in fact mandatory?

Michael Corridor, whose firm sells a PAPR helmet called Air, believes they would well even be fashionable within the lengthy bustle with people desirous about rotten air quality.

New Tech Economy is a series exploring how technological innovation is made up our minds to shape the new emerging financial panorama.

His firm, Utah-based fully Corridor Labs, says it has equipped 3,000 to date. It is far moreover now working on more excessive-tech versions, where the visor turns accurate into a masks on which the user can see videos.

“And for airline breeze back and forth we will be in a position to take a segment [with helmets that work] fancy noise-cancelling headphones,” says the 44-year-frail. “We speak that there is a marketplace for that form of serenity.”

But whether or no longer for conserving in opposition to airborne viruses or rotten air quality, are such helmets reasonably over-the-top?

Natasha Duwin, whose Florida-based fully firm Octo Security Devices makes face masks, says she can see the attraction.

image copyrightOcto Security Devices

image captionNatasha Duwin, pictured with trade companion Tobias Franoszek, says that a appropriate model respirator conceal would work moreover to a helmet for many of us

“Helmets just like the advantage that they masks people’s faces,” she says. “That you should even see smiles and human expressions, and like a extraordinarily actual sense of safety.

“But because every of these helmets is dependent upon no longer much less than two filtration systems, batteries, and [other things], all these items can damage down. And if handiest opinion to be one of them breaks down, you are in severe concern.”

She moreover cautions that the helmets will want to be thoroughly cleaned before every consume.

Ms Duwin says that for many of us, all they want is a fitted, respirator conceal that meets the certified quality usual in that nation. Respirator masks like built in filters, and every match more tightly, and work more effectively, than easy cloth face masks.

The above three helmets price within the differ of $149-$379 (£113-£288), but none has but to procure certification. On the opposite hand, every of the three companies converse they are nearing the closing phases of the formulation.

image copyrightCorridor Labs

image captionMichael Corridor believes helmets comparable to the Air will continue to be fashionable even after Covid-19

Dr Suzanne Pham, clinical director of the Covid-19 response crew at Weiss Memorial Sanatorium in Chicago, says: “It stays to be viewed if these engrossing helmets effectively war Covid, as within the intervening time there is no longer ample research within the again of them.

Dr Pham is moreover concerned that the helmets would possibly moreover consequence in a societal division. “This will moreover take a split in society between these that would possibly like ample money something that reputedly would possibly well give protection to them more, and these that cannot.

“And with these that cannot being left feeling fancy, ‘Oh, am I being below-safe by wearing correct a surgical conceal?'”

On the opposite hand, she does speak that the helmets will promote effectively, as mighty for the conceitedness they provide the wearer as the true safety they provide. “Despite every thing, the pandemic has been firstly clinical, but moreover psychological, fully.”

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