Computer programmer builds COVID-19 face mask with an array of LED lights that move like a mouth

Computer programmer builds COVID-19 face mask with an array of voice-activated LED lights that show when a person is speaking

Game designer and coder Tyler Glaiel made his own custom COVID-19 face maskIt uses LED lights to simulate mouth movements when a person is speakingIt can also show a smiling shape to indicate happiness with a click of the tongueThe parts for the mask cost around $50 and anyone can try to make it Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Game designer and programmer Tyler Glaiel has created a clever new twist on the face mask for people frustrated by trying to communicate with their mouths covered during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Glaiel’s created a cloth face mask with a voice activated panel of LED lights on the front, which move whenever a person is speaking to simulate a mouth opening and closing.

The array of 16 LED lights can also be used to make a smiling shape if the person wearing them makes a clicking noise with their tongue.

‘I had a random idea for it,’ Glaiel said in an interview with the BBC about the origins of the project.

‘I was wondering if it existed, to have a face mask that just lighted up with mouth shapes and so I looked around online to see if there was anything I could feasibly buy to do this and there really wasn’t anything there.’

Glaiel spent around a month experimenting with different ways to build the LED mask before settling on a final design.

It’s built using an Arduino Nano–an inexpensive microcomputer similar to the Raspberry Pi–which controls the LED lights and voice recognition system and is powered by a nine-volt battery.

The LED panel fits into a sleeve in the cloth mask and can be easily removed for washing, while the LED housing can be periodically sterilized with UV rays.

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