COVID-19 / DEI / Startups

Apple will distribute Baltimore startup’s ClearMask to employees

Plus, more transparent face masks shipped to the UK.

A box of ClearMasks. (Courtesy photo)

Apple’s latest big rollout comes in the way of PPE for employees, and a Baltimore company is playing a role in protecting against COVID-19.

According to Bloomberg, ClearMask is one of two types of masks that the iconic tech brand will soon distribute to employees on both the corporate and retail side. Apple’s engineering and industrial design teams also collaborated on an in-house face mask for employees, the Apple Face Mask, as an upgrade from cloth masks that were initially provided by the company.

Per Bloomberg, Apple worked with D.C.-based Gallaudet University to choose the transparent mask, and also tested the ClearMask in three stores.

ClearMask, which was founded in late 2017 by a team out of Johns Hopkins, developed a transparent face mask to make communication accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing in medical settings. The product received FDA clearance in the spring, as well as investment from Maryland’s TEDCO that helped to ramp production as the company has seen wide traction in the pandemic amid a skyrocketing demand for face masks.

September also brought news that ClearMask is shipping overseas. On Sept. 5, the United Kingdom’s department of health and social care said it signed a deal with the company for 250,000 masks for frontline workers in the National Health Service and social care providers. The UK government said the masks would help workers communicate with people who use lip-reading and facial expressions.

“If this proves a success I look forward to increasing the supply to make sure whenever a clear mask is needed, there is one,” UK Minister of Care Helen Whately said in a statement.

Companies: ClearMask / Apple
Series: Coronavirus

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