‘World-first’ Cambridge smart mask seeks crowd cash
A Cambridge business has launched a crowdfunding campaign to underpin rollout of what is being marketed as the world’s first ‘smart mask’ – designed to protect the wearers against potentially lethal pollution and viruses.
Cambridge Mask Company launches a $32,000 raise on Kickstarter on May 30 for a smart mask that can actively monitor the air quality around you, help to optimise your breathing and tell you when to change the mask filter. The filters use technology developed by the UK military for use in chemical, nuclear and biological warfare protection.
The masks remove harmful particulate and gas pollution and are treated with silver to help trap and kill pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Mastermind of the UK business, Christopher Dobbing, says the nextgen iteration of the product is “perfect for cyclists, urban residents or anyone worried about clean air.”
Dobbing founded the company when he saw children in Beijing getting sick and colouring in the sky grey instead of blue in art class. Business Weekly brought the potential of the technology into the public limelight as long ago as August 2015.
Now Dobbing tells us that the much-vaunted SmartValve technology utilised for the venture has created what he calls “the world’s first connected mask, helping people better manage their respiratory health.”
Dobbing told Business Weekly: “Air pollution kills seven million people a year according to the WHO – more than murders, suicides and car crashes combined; someone every four seconds.
“In the UK, air pollution has become a major source of concern for many, as cities across the country frequently breach WHO and EU pollution limits. Research now shows that the average UK resident has a six month shorter lifespan due to air pollution. We are helping to solve the fundamental requirement for people to better understand what and how they breathe.
“Our current masks have been a massive success and we now have users in over 40 countries. With this new technology we are making our masks even better and giving people awesome tools to care for their long-term health.”
Cambridge Mask’s SmartValve clips onto their mask and, through an app, gives data on filter expiration levels, local air quality information as well as advise on breathing patterns.
The development has taken nearly two years, with prototype and patent already developed.
Cambridge Mask Company – originally promoted through the annual Business Weekly Awards – has offices in Cambridge, Hong Kong and Beijing. Its masks are fashion focused and have been customised into five sizes for adults and children.
Existing clients include the British Embassy in Beijing, Intel China, British Airways and China National Petroleum Corporation, the world’ s third largest company.