- Apple will give its retail employees Apple Face Masks made by designers of iPhones, iPads.
- The mask has large coverings on the top and bottom for the wearer’s nose and chin.
- In addition to Apple Face Mask, Apple will also give Clear Mask to employees for hearing disorders.
Apple engineering and design teams have created an Apple Face Mask for its employees as stores slowly reopen in the backdrop of COVID 19. Apple told staff that the Face Mask was developed by the Engineering and Industrial Design teams, the same groups that work on devices such as the iPhone and iPad, Bloomberg reported. Apple Face Mask is made up of three layers to filter incoming and outgoing particles. It can be washed and reused as many as five times, according to Apple.
The photos of the Apple Face Mask have not yet been released but as per the report, the Apple Face Mask has large coverings on the top and bottom for the wearer's nose and chin. It also has adjustable strings to fit around a person's ears. Apple told Bloomberg it designed the mask with existing personal protective equipment supply chains in mind, taking care not to disrupt existing flows.
Apple said it conducted careful research and testing to find the right materials to filter the air properly while not disrupting the supply of medical personal protective equipment. Apple will start sending the Apple Face Mask to staff over the next two weeks.
In addition to the Apple Face Mask, the company has also introduced a model called the Clear Mask which is the first FDA-cleared surgical mask that is completely transparent. It shows the full face so that people with a disability or people who are deaf or hard of hearing can better understand what the wearer is saying.
Apple has tested the Clear Mask with employees in three Apple stores. The Clear Mask was sourced elsewhere and Apple is also exploring its own transparent mask options. Apple worked with Washington-based Gallaudet University, which specializes in educating deaf and hard-of-hearing students, to choose which clear mask to use.
The Apple Mask and the Clear Mask will only be given to retail employees and not the customers and general public. However, it offers basic surgical masks to customers visiting its retail stores.
Previously, Apple launched a company wide effort bringing together product designers, engineering, operations and packaging teams and their suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for health workers. By April 2020, Apple sourced through its supply chain sourced over 20 million face shields around the world. Apple has also donated over 10 million masks for health professionals in the US and Europe.