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Photo: EPFL As mask-wearing becomes the new norm around the world, researchers from the EPFL and Empa in Switzerland have come up with a way to improve at least one of the many challenges of wearing face protection with a new transparent design that no longer completely hides and obscures the wearer’s mouth. With everyone now being encouraged to wear masks while out in public, the problems with the current designs are finally being addressed, despite health care workers and caregivers being forced to just suck it up and deal with those issues for decades now. Even thin masks can be hot, uncomfortable, and have a tendency to muffle voices, which anyone who’s ever tried to use a voice assistant while wearing one has discovered. But the biggest challenge is that disposable masks can be very impersonal, making it challenging for caregivers to comfort patients or show compassion through facial expressions, and limit communications, particularly with those dealing with hearing impairments. Over the past few months, the occasional prototype for see-through masks has been shared online, but the designs mostly involve replacing part of a mask with clear plastic panels which reduce breathability and often quickly fog up from […]

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