Coronavirus pandemic has caused an increase in mask wearing numbers all over the world, as experts continuously urge people to cover their faces to minimize the transmission of the virus. But there are many people who feel uncomfortable wearing a mask, as they are not habituated with it. A Japanese company in Nagasaki understood the issue and developed a far more comfortable mask.
Understanding the fact that comfort is everything, a garment maker in the city of Isahaya in the southwestern Japan has developed and started to sell a nonslip mask. As per the makers, this newly developed mask can be worn without attaching it to the ears.
The New Mask
The mask was developed by Bisen Co. head Kosuke Inoue. The product went on sale in the middle of November. It became very popular among those who previously struggled to wear masks, especially those with microtia—a condition in which the ears are much smaller than others—and those who find it uncomfortable to wear masks along with glasses or hearing devices.
The developer of the mask, Inoue while sharing the details with Mainichi Shimbun says that the part of mask's inside layer that touches the nose has a silicon-coated triangular shape small sewn into it that keeps the mask on by pinching the nose. "Then you wind the attached hook with an elastic band around the back of your head and secure it to the other side of the mask," and doing so means that even if someone takes the mask down from the ears, it still stays on the face while covering the nose and the mouth, explains Inoue.
He said that in October one of their customers asked for a mask that doesn't need to put on from the ears and told them about someone whose daughter has microtia and "they're worried because she can't put on masks". Then the company decided to make such masks and the customer was told that "by the end of October we'd finished the product".
Inoue did not find success in the first attempt. After trying many things, when he sent a prototype to a representative group whose members include people with microtia, he received feedback stating that "to make it easier for even children to put the masks on, it would be better if the hooks on them were slightly bigger."
Inoue made the required changes to the mask and sent them the final product. The developers have already filed a utility model registration with the Japan Patent Office.
"I want to work to sell these masks even overseas, and make them more widely used," said Inoue. These masks come in four sizes and 18 colors. The cost is about $5.75 each.