The Ford Motor Company is hoping a new, clear respirator mask — which could help the hearing impaired communicate amid the pandemic — will be available later this year.
The automaker says the company has received patent-pending approval for the clear mask, which they expect to certify to N95 standards.
Ford said the transparent, reusable respirators will allow people to better communicate with each other and aid those people who have hearing impairments by reading lips.
“One of the things that’s missing during the pandemic is the power of a smile,” Ford VP of Enterprise Product Line Management Jim Baumbick said in a press release. “This clear respirator promises to improve interactions between neighbors, at the store and for those who have hearing impairments.”
According to Ford, testing continues on the respirators to prove their effectiveness, and they could be available in the spring.
This story was originally published by WXYZ in Detroit.