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Ford Has Designed A Clear N95 Face Mask To Help The Hearing-Impaired

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Ford has produced millions of pieces of personal protective equipment since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of its Project Apollo initiative. The automaker has also donated a large number of face masks to needy communities in recent months. But now, Ford has also come up with an innovative new clear N95 face mask designed to help the hearing-impaired, too.

Ford has received patent-pending approval for its innovative new clear N95 face mask, which is currently undergoing testing and is expected to be available this spring.

The transparent, low-cost, reusable respirators enable a full range of human expression, allowing people to better communicate with each other and aiding those with hearing impairments to help read lips that are today blocked by conventional cloth and filtered masks. This is also a safe solution where visible human expression is desired, such as teaching, air travel, and sales.

“One of the things that’s missing during the pandemic is the power of a smile,” said Jim Baumbick, Ford vice president, enterprise product line management and leader of Ford’s Project Apollo personal protective equipment manufacturing effort. “This clear respirator promises to improve interactions between neighbors, at the store, and for those who have hearing impairments.”

Additionally, the automaker has also developed a simple air filtration system that uses a common box fan that’s placed horizontally on a cardboard stand and features a filter laid across it that draws air downward. The filtration system is capable of changing the air in a 960 square-foot room roughly 4.5 times per hour to reduce the number of virus-carrying aerosols present in the air.

“Our modeling results clearly show that improvements in air filtration of poorly ventilated spaces through the proper use of a portable air cleaner can help reduce the chance of breathing in contaminated aerosols,” said Dr. Jiarong Hong, a mechanical engineering professor in the University of Minnesota’s college of science and engineering.

The company plans to donate up to 20,000 air filtration kits to underserved communities but is also making the base design available free by downloading an instruction template that can be found here.

We’ll have more on Ford’s efforts to fight COVID-19 soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford-related COVID-19 news and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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10 Comments

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  1. Does it come with a built in fan to reduce fogging? Come on….man! Ford what happened to you? You used to be leaders now you are just following. Your primary business is vehicle developement. Get back to what made you what you are.

  2. Very cool folks! I particularly like the box fan filter…simple yet effective. Some might say thinking inside the box…! 😉

  3. Ford is doing this to protect their employees, so they can offer this out to the public. I bet you have not done anything to help others since your post is proof that you think only for yourself.

  4. Trolls coming out to punish anyone with an opinion. When Ford changes their business model to face masks then you have something to stand on. Ford is an auto manufacturer first and foremost.

  5. To condem ford for makeing these masks is disgusting these two projects are a very important thing to do is this time of covid 19.This does effect the auto side of the buissenes!.

  6. Dear Sirs,

    I am excited to hear about the new clear N95 masks. My wife is an educator. She and others that teach in the public sector, may be force back into the classroom amid continual spikes in our current COVID-19 cases. Because she and a large number or her co-workers are ‘at risk’ employees, I am extremely concerned about their return to the classroom. Other than being totally enclosed in a ‘Hazmat Suit,’ this new mask seems to be the perfect protective product at this time!
    If you are able to distribute any mask at this time, would it be possible to purchase them from you?

    Thank you for your valuable time and efforts!

    Respectfully,
    T. Pettit

  7. I’m so happy this is a possibility in the near future. It will take the stress off loved ones when they visit patients in nursing homes or group homes with dementia who are confused by the mask on our faces and don’t recognize us and become uncooperative because to them we are strangers. Please make these available to people with seniors who are hard of hearing too.

  8. I’m very thankful for Ford Motor Company being on a pandemic mission: provide clear N95 masks and low-cost air filters. So many will benefit from having these clear N95 masks available, including older adults who have some form of hearing loss and may rely heavily on nonverbal cues like facial expression and lip-reading.

    Due to my deafness, I rely heavily on lip-reading to understand others when they are speaking. When everyone wearing a non-clear mask, it prevents me from seeing their lips, which in turn makes working at a salon again impossible for me at the moment. Although my spa career journey is on hold, what Ford Motor Company is doing gives me hope that it won’t be long until I can work again. I hope to buy some soon, I wonder when and where I could buy some for my husband and me.

  9. Please contact me. After numerous attempts to even get anyone’s response to get a clear mask that I need because I cannot be vaccinated, I am still trying. Does everyone in the world have enough ppe? What about me?

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