Pepper the robot can politely suggest you wear a damn mask

We’ve seen Pepper, the cutesy robotic butler, provide customer service, offer info at train stations, sell smartphones and take your Pizza Hut order. Now, Pepper has a new public health mission. The humanoid is scanning faces to determine whether peo...

This Alien Facehugger Face Mask Keeps Viruses and Xenomorph Eggs In

If you’re going to have to wear a face mask to keep from spreading germs, it might as well be something interesting, right? Well, I can’t think of anything better than this Alien facehugger mask to prevent the your nose and mouth droplets from escaping and infecting others. As an added bonus, it’s guaranteed to increase social distancing by others around you.

Of course, it does mean that you’re willing to subject yourself to xenomorph eggs being implanted in your belly, but that’s a small price to pay for public health, right? You might even get a little tap dance out of it. This awesomely creepy mask was made by UK leather artist Pirate’s Leatherworks, who did an amazing job that’s sure to have him swimming in custom orders for quite some time.

If you’re interested in buying one for yourself, keep an eye out on the artist’s Etsy shop, where no one can hear you scream.

[via Reddit via Geekologie]

‘League of Legends’ championship will start in Shanghai despite pandemic

At least one major eSports league is determined to push forward with in-person finals despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Riot Games has announced that the League of Legends World Championship 2020 will take place in Shanghai between September 25th and Oc...

Recommended Reading: The fear of TikTok

Why America is afraid of TikTokMichael Schuman, The AtlanticA US Senator called it a Trojan Horse. President Trump reportedly wants Chinese owner ByteDance to sell it off to a buyer based in the States or to ban it entirely without having it change h...

The first US COVID-19 exposure notification apps could arrive within ‘weeks’

In order to help fight the spread of COVID-19, Apple and Google quickly developed exposure notification technology for Android and iOS that that relied on Bluetooth technology in mobile phones. They initially released their platforms in May (via an u...

This smart face-mask auto-translates languages as you speak!

Wear the C-Face Mask and you aren’t just granted clean, purified air… you also get the power to talk in multiple languages! Designed by Japan-based Donut Robotics, the C-Face mask is a universal mask-cover that fits on top of your standard face mask. Switch it on, and the C-Face mask connects to your smartphone, giving you a wide variety of smart features. Not only does it enable you to answer calls and talk to people without holding your phone’s mouthpiece near your mouth, it auto converts speech to text, allowing you to reply to messages, verbally type out emails, or ask your smartphone’s voice AI queries without having to take off your mask and talk to it. Currently, the C-Face even possesses the ability to translate between Japanese and 8 other languages, but multi-language support is merely an app update away!

As unusual as its design brief sounds, the C-Face mask actually has quite a few really noteworthy benefits. Firstly, since the mask is fitted with its own dedicated microphone, you can speak into your phone without needing to take your mask off. Pair this with the smartphone’s voice-to-text feature and you can talk to other people just by showing them messages on your phone. The voice-to-text feature even means less unnecessary touching of your smartphone’s screen to type out messages. Just say what you need and the dedicated app converts speech into text that you can copy and paste in messages, chat boxes, or mail drafts. The app even possesses the ability to auto-translate between a total of 9 languages, allowing you to seamlessly communicate with people regardless of language barriers. It’s almost as if the C-Face gives you the ability to speak in multiple dialects!

The C-Face mask will begin shipping to buyers/backers in Japan as early as September with more units being shipped to USA, Europe, and China in the coming months. The silicone mask comes with its own battery that provides hours of use on a single charge. It retrofits directly on top of any standard face-mask, allowing you to upgrade your current cloth mask into a smart-mask that works with your phone!

Designer: Donut Robotics

This shoe-sanitizing doormat is a great example of a good/bad idea

There’s intent, and there’s execution, and while most things are created with good intent, their execution may not necessarily reflect it. The Shuzon, a now-canceled product on Kickstarter is a great example of a good idea that wasn’t perhaps taken to its real potential. Created by 26-year old Ariel Zaksenberg, the Shuzon is a shoe-sanitizing doormat that coats the sole of your shoes with disinfectant when you stand on it. Great idea, no? I thought so too, but the more time I spend looking at this design, the more I feel like maybe the doormat’s design isn’t entirely foolproof.

The Shuzon is a two-part doormat that disinfects your feet as you step on it. A soft foam layer helps evenly distribute disinfectant on the base of your shoes, so you don’t accidentally bring any germs into the house/office/hospital/shop when you enter. That’s the Shuzon’s intent, and given the circumstances, it’s a pretty great design brief and a wonderful alternative to those wasteful shoe-covers that people wear. However, where the Shuzon slightly falls apart is in its execution of that intent. Let me explain.

The Shuzon is a regular-sized doormat with two halves… a pink one, and a blue one. One of those halves dispenses the sanitizer, the other one absorbs any excess. Which one’s which? I wish I knew. The foam on the doormat unfortunately only showcases the branding, so it isn’t entirely clear which foam block I’m supposed to step on first; and that’s just one small problem – here’s the bigger one. The Shuzon is a regular doormat split in two, right down the middle. The average person wouldn’t stand on one half of the doormat, they would probably have one foot in each square (nobody occupies a corner of the doormat when they’re at the door). Unless explicitly explained to, most people would probably end up sanitizing just the one foot that happened to be in the right foam block. The third problem is the horizontal orientation of the Shuzon. Nobody side-steps when they walk into a house. People walk forwards, so it would only make sense to design the doormat in a way where the disinfecting block was kept BEFORE the drying block, and not BESIDE it.

Other minor problems in Shuzon’s design would probably be not considering what happens when pets step on it, or when there’s a group of people standing at your door (and nobody is really standing on the doormat), or when someone leaves a parcel on your doormat and gets its base soggy, or even when the liquid disinfectant at its bottom runs out but you never know. The Shuzon is a product with great intention, but to be honest, it’s a few design tweaks away from being perfect. I hope to see a future iteration from the design community that makes this product better, because heaven knows we really need it!

Designer: Ariel Zaksenberg