MicroClimate created a visor with air filters that looks like a helmet, called Air.
Air is just one of many unusual designs for face coverings since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
People have critiqued the design on social media, with a common theme being it looks too futuristic.
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In the dystopia of 2020, being able to afford a personal microclimate helmet to wear around might be the next status symbol.
The coronavirus is still spreading, researchers don’t know the longterm health impacts of the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci says most pre-Pandemic activities can return to normal by summer 2022, and a record setting year of wildfires across the western US turned San Francisco’s sky orange. Wearing a helmet out and about wouldn’t be the strangest thing to happen this year.
MicroClimate’s Air is an acrylic visor that “enables an unobstructed view of the face.” It’s not the only unorthodox take on masks and face shields that has emerged since COVID-19 spread around the world.
Related: Gas masks and hazmat suits are flying off the shelves
Toronto-based Vyzr Technologies created the BioVyzr, a shield with what the company calls a “space-age aesthetic,” and the venture has raised over $750,000 on Indiegogo. BioVyzr’s current preorder price of $379, and regular at $498, make Air look like a relative steal at only $199.
Take a look at the design here.
The helmet filters air with fans and HEPA filters, with four hours of battery life.
Cushion liners are included to make it comfortable, while the helmet is made of a washable fabric for cleaning.
MicroClimate seems to be marketing itself to young, tech-savvy professionals, with copy reading “from Uber to airline, AIR by MicroClimate™ will keep you comfortable the whole trip,” and promotional photos of wearers in suits.
The company also notes that Air “works well with AirPods.” Founder Michael Hall told Forbes that testing with airline passengers has gone well so far.
Like the BioVyzr, part of the appeal is that the wearer can easily see and be seen without the obstruction of a mask. “MicroClimate has some unique technology that makes it feel like there is nothing in front of you while you are wearing it. This makes the experience of wearing it very comfortable” the company said in an email.
Of course, it quickly became the subject of tweets.
Many commented on the emphasis on the word “air,” in MIcroClimate’s marketing.
There were comparisons to sci-fi movies like Interstellar and Prometheus
At this point, it would be strange but certainly not unthinkable if helmets became the next coronavirus era accessory.
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