Customizable atmosphere scented masks that the user can wear in different settings to emulate a multi-sensory experience
Masks are used as primary protection against the COVID-19 virus, however, they do significantly diminish the wearer’s ability to smell the atmosphere around them. One way this can be combated is by creating different atmosphere scented masks that the user can wear depending on where they are. For example, many people love the comforting scent of a cafe, but since masks are required indoors and many cafes only offer outdoor seating now, we can engineer a cafe scented mask that the user can wear to still have that familiar experience. These masks can be marketed to individuals but also to businesses that can even sell masks with specific scents so that their customers can have a multi-sensory experience while visiting. For example, certain scented masks can add to the experience of viewing an exhibit in a museum, and can be used for artistic endeavors. The scents can also be customizable, as in people can request certain scents that might remind them of other people or themselves and we can engineer masks with that specific long lasting smell. These masks can be given as gifts to remind the receiver of certain memories, people or places. These long-lasting scented masks can allow us to still engage with our environment and each other through our sense of smell, and will amplify our experience of the world at this unprecedented time.
Who will take these actions?
Anyone can create their own perfume and mix of scents and douse their regular masks in this scent, but this idea can be commercialized by creating a business where the consumer can chose to order masks with a certain color/design and scent or they can purchase pre-made masks. These masks would be good quality, and their scents would be very long-lasting and non-irritating. Businesses can also buy certain scented masks in bulk and offer these masks to their customers when they visit to heighten their experience.
What are the projected costs?
If a user chooses to make their own perfume and spray their own mask this would be relatively cheap to do, as they probably own masks and would only have to invest in certain scents. If this is commercialized, manufacturing masks would be relatively cheap and scents can be bought in bulk.
An individual can collect scents, test mixtures, perfect their chosen smell and spray their masks in a couple of days, this can be even shorter if the idea is commercialized.
About the author(s)
Janice Tjan, Fiona Lin, Lizi Maziashvili, Joseph Morales, Aneesh Batra, and Susan Su are undergraduate researchers and high school students working at the Community Biotechnology Initiative of the MIT Media Lab.