As we enter our third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many things are certain while many things remain unknown.
We do not know if, how, or when the COVID virus will stop mutating. The New York Times estimates 84 Million cases and 1 Million deaths since the Pandemic began in 2020. Yet, how many lives have been taken or deeply affected by this pandemic? Is life beginning to feel “normal” again? Or are these new realities a defined norm of the future?
We know that variants will continue to generate and spread new waves of sickness. We know that the pandemic has revealed cracks in our social and political infrastructures. And we know that for some, because of occupation, personal health, or personal preference, masks are a permanent necessity.
Countless studies have proven that masks are an essential means of reducing community spread of COVID. According to the CDC, we know that COVID is "transmitted predominantly by inhalation of respiratory droplets generated when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe." Masks are most effective at containing the emission of virus-laden droplets from an infected wearer. We also know that masks can help wearers filter out viral droplets.
Masks have been used to minimize disease spread since the Manchurian plague of 1910–11 and the influenza pandemic of 1918–19. As you can see in the image below, they were constructed with layered gauze and tied behind the ears much like modern surgical masks. Once research confirmed the efficacy of masks at filtering out infectious particles, their adoption in medical settings scaled drastically.
Photo: courtesy University of Cambridge/Centre for Reasearch in the Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH, The University of Cambridge). The University of HongKong Libraries
Although the severity of COVID infections weaken with each new variant, people with compromised immune systems, health professionals who interact with sick individuals, or others concerned about the potential of infection continue to wear masks. Even if you have not worn a mask in the past months, either by choice or mandate, you have likely worn a mask at some point in the past. Whether it was a cloth mask, N95, or surgical mask, you can likely recall attributes of mask-wearing that bothered you to no end.
Was it the aching behind the ears that straps cause after 30 minutes of use? Was it the wastefulness of disposable surgical masks? Was it the uncertainty of whether or not your cloth mask was effective at filtering out particles? Was it the constant muffling of your voice or others? Was it the challenge of sharing your own or reading the facial expressions of others? Was it the fogging of your glasses? The list goes on...
SEEUS95 HEARD your complaints and tried to fix all of these issues using innovative, empathetic, and sustainability-minded design. SEEUS95’s founder, Alice Min Soo Chun, turned her kitchen into a laboratory and began developing the transparent mask, made of silicone with biodegradable filtered in May 2020. A few months later, she launched a Kickstarter campaign, raising over $400,000 in one month! After a year and a half of designing, testing, and manufacturing, the SEEUS95 masks were finally shipped to our initial investors in February 2022.
Our mask is different from others on the market. It’s a transparent mask so you can recognize people's faces. It is made from medical-grade silicone material which is recyclable, soft, and flexible. It comes with replaceable bio-filters with tested 95% filtration efficacy and up to 60 hours of use per filter. It comes in two sizes. It comes with an assortment of accessories including head straps, travel bags, replaceable filters, and more! And it’s anti-fog. This transparent mask is a respirator and allows you to share your emotions. We believe good design should celebrate AND protect our faces. Read our size guide to figure out what mask is right for you!
A primary driver behind SEEUS95’s transparent design feature was the onset of the social and behavioral challenge by mask-wearing. For children, masking in schools challenged their ability to read the facial expressions of peers and teachers. For hearing impaired folks who rely on lipreading when communicating, masks shielded them from reading these cues in public settings. The SEEUS95 mask was created according to universal design principles. Accessibility, inclusivity, and usability were central to our design goals.
Because of our innovative and inclusive design achievements, SEEUS95 masks have received a lot of recognition! We have been recognized by Fast Company twice! First in September 2020, when we first launched our IndiGogo campaign. Then, in May 2022 we made their “2022 World Changing Ideas List” within the health category.
Now that our initial Kickstarter supporters have received their masks, we have received some fantastic feedback. Want to hear from some SEEUS95 customers? Read the reviews below to learn about their experiences using the mask below:
Seeus95 have done a great job with producing a environmentally friendly, polypropylene free mask. I am allergic to the standard N95 masks and require one for my job. This is a wonderful alternative. Together we can learn and build a mask that is even better. I am looking forward to the future of masks. – Lucy M.
So nice to see my smile again! Props to the team for pushing through despite all odds to ensure this mask was created without compromising on quality! … As long as you care for them properly and clean them well after every use, they'll go a long way. – Nadia
Best masks EVER! … I have no idea how they work, because they stick when you want them to and then release from your skin when you are ready. Magic? Is magic really a thing? If it is, these masks are magic. I simply cannot recommend these masks highly enough. They are life changing. Get one. – Mary N.
Have unanswered questions about the SEEUS95 mask? Read our FAQs here.