With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the global shortage of mask, it is not surprising that one campaign stood out on Kickstarter. I am talking about AusAir. AusAir is pitching its Australia-designed, “botanically-infused, designers masks” that is capable of blocking out “over 97% of PM2.5 particles while remaining highly breathable and looks fashionable too boot.
Bane will be proud. At least he isn’t the only one donning mask, albeit he did it for entirely different reasons. While AusAir mask is primary design with pollution in mind, it is also claims to block “over 97%” of airborne viruses that are in the 0.1-0.5 micron range. Obviously, it is also good against smoke from bush fire and also block out organic odors and vapors – thanks to its added carbon layer.
It touts a form-fitting, lightweight design and a multi-layer construction. It has a washable outer – the one that makes the fashion statement, the said active carbon layer, a durable PP outer protective layer, replaceable botanical PM2.5 filters and finally and soft, non-woven inner layer.
In additional, the mask is said to be have the world’s thinnest one-way valves. Each mask has two marine grade 316 stainless steel valves that are “engineered” to maximize exhalation and prevent hot air build up.
As awesome as it sounds, the mask does not come cheap. You are looking at 55 AUD or more (US$34 or more) for a single mask with 3x filters.
Notwithstanding the price point, the campaign was a huge success on Kickstarter. At the time of this writing, the campaign has drawn over 5,000 backers who have contributed a combine fund of $400,000+. We are not sure if the COVID-19 or the recent spate wild fires has anything to do with the demand.
Having said that, I can’t help but to wonder, with such a high demand, will the team able to fulfill its promise to delivery in June?