[imagesource: Amir Cohen/Reuters]
One of the challenges facing countries preparing to ease lockdown restrictions around the world is how to manage physical distancing in largely social spots like bars and restaurants.
Some creative solutions have come out of the industry, ranging from cordoned off eating pods, to the ingenious use of large rubber tubes.
The idea is to maintain enough space between customers so that they can eat or drink without the masks that are mandatory in public in most places.
Then there’s the brainchild of Avtipus Patents and Inventions in Israel.
Over to VICE:
Avtipus Patents and Inventions revealed its mask earlier this week, demonstrating a built-in (but visually terrifying) mechanical mouth that opens and closes with the use of a hand-controlled lever.
“The mask will be opened mechanically by hand remote or automatically when the fork is coming to the mask,” Asaf Gitelis, a vice president at Avtipus Patents, told Haaretz. “Then you can eat, enjoy, drink and you take out the fork and it will be closed, and you’re protected against the virus and other people sitting with you.”
Now, let’s see it in action:
What a time to be alive.
The mask is, at this stage, better suited to solid foods. Still, it’s hard to imagine that the wearer isn’t going to make a mess of themselves, or collect food bits in the bottom of the mask.
Avtipus Patents says that it could start manufacturing these pale blue pieces of ventriloquist dummy cosplay within the next few months, and each one will be between $1 and $3 more than a standard mask.
The creators of the robotic mask aren’t the only ones to take food consumption into consideration. In a slightly less horrifying iteration, a company called Shut Your Mouth launched a mask with a zipper:
If the choice falls between the mouth version of a mechanical claw and a zipper, I’m going with the latter.
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