Apple has designed and developed two kinds of protective face masks, according to Bloomberg. However, these new custom-made masks are being distributed to retail and corporate employees—and aren’t available for purchase.
Before designing its own masks, Apple provided employees with standard cloth masks. The stores have also implemented rigorous health measures for both employees and visitors since re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic—including a mask requirement, temperature checks, and social distancing.
Apple Face Mask
The two masks are called the Apple Face Mask and the Apple ClearMask. The Apple Face Mask was developed in-house in Cupertino, California by Apple’s Engineering and Industrial Design teams—the same groups that work on devices such as the iPhone and iPad.
The Apple Face Mask features a three-layer design, which filters both incoming and outgoing particles, and it can also be washed and reused up to five times. The triangle shape design apparently helps solve the problem of fogged-up glasses. The bottom of the mask is rounded for the chin, and has adjustable strings for the ears.
The ClearMask—the first FDA-cleared surgical mask that is completely transparent—was sourced in partnership with Gallaudet University, which specialises in educating deaf and and hard of hearing students, and it was tested with Apple employees. Apple is working on its own transparent mask options for future use.
Apple said that the company conducted “careful research and testing” to find appropriate materials to filter the air while not disrupting supplies of medical personal protective equipment. They also said that their employees will begin receiving Apple Face Masks over the course of the next two weeks—although we don’t know if this includes Apple employees in Malaysia.
In April, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Apple has worked to design and produce face shields for medical workers. They have also sourced more than 20 million masks through their global supply chain.