3 Industries that Will Benefit from Using Shield Mask
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all finding life a little more challenging.
For people who have a hearing or visual impairment, though, getting access to certain services has been even more difficult than usual. This is largely due to the conventional masks that cover the mouth and nose, but are not transparent, making lip reading and non-verbal communication essentially impossible. That was the main motivation behind the development of the shield mask Pininfarina is doing for exemple with Vuzair, which features a fully transparent shield that enables wearers to be both seen and heard while also protecting both the wearer and the people with whom they interact.
The second challenge that needed to be solved was designing a mask that provides a high level of protection while also being something that people actually want to wear. There are a wide variety of scenarios and industries where wearing a mask for a full work shift is a requirement, and having a mask that is comfortable is an essential to adherence. And that’s the key:
If people don’t mind wearing the mask,
they’ll wear it more often, thereby protecting
themselves and everyone around them.
So which industries stand to benefit the most by deploying a fully transparent face mask? Here are the ones that we believe a shield mask will have the most impact.
Tourism and Hospitality
Few industries have been hit as hard as tourism and hospitality. Countries around the world have spent a significant portion of 2020 with closed borders, not allowing tourist to enter or move around their country. Even as restrictions have lifted somewhat, tourism is still significantly down compared to average years. Parks, attractions, hotels, and more have all seen dramatically lower visitors, with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) predicting a 58 – 78 percent decrease in international tourism travel. What’s more, the UNWTO expects 100 – 120 million job losses in the sector. And, according to global market research and consulting firm McKinsey, hotel revenues will continue to be down about 20 percent for the next two to three years.
Because so much of tourism and hospitality
relies on face-to-face experiences, the shield mask
could play a prominent role in restoring government
and consumer confidence, while also providing
the protections we discussed above.
The NBA and NFL in the United States, along with the Premier League in Europe, are working through their seasons without any fans in stadiums, and many other organizations are either rescheduling matches or even cancelling them altogether. And cancelled matches are more than just sports fans missing seeing their teams. The financial impact will be huge, with no sales of tickets, advertising, merchandise, and more.
At a minimum, equipping stadium workers, team staff and players, would be a significant step towards reducing risks at sporting events. Even better: Brand the mask with team logos, but also require participants to wear them at the events.
While the coronavirus pandemic has been a boon to e-commerce companies (Amazon doubled its profits during the start of the pandemic), most brick and mortar retailers are seriously hurting. According to the OECD, retail shopping accounts for about five percent of GDP and retail employees make up a little less than 10 percent of the workforce. In Australia, some experts say the government’s plan to move out lockdown could result in putting about 50 percent of small business retailers out of business.
The economic impact in this sector simply can’t be denied. But again, this is a sector that requires a lot of face-to-face interactions, which can all be protected by a shield mask. What’s more, out of all the business sectors discussed here, retail is the one most likely to need to cater to those with hearing or visual impairments, making the mask an essential asset to not only protect the industry but to also serve a minority population.
Thank you for reading, if you want to run this discussion further with us, please visit us.
David Carvalho – SVP Experience Design & Industrial Design – Pininfarina