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.