Whenever there is a violent sneeze or cough, a mask may not be able to contain the infectious droplets that can force their way out of the edges. From healthcare workers who face an increasing number of patients to uninfected individuals in the hospital, stronger protection than a mask is often necessary.
A wearable barrier or a hood gives greater protection with a larger surface area to contain more droplets. But they can be uncomfortable and cumbersome. To solve this, Singapore-based multidisciplinary creative agency STUCK Design creates X-Hood – an elegant, lightweight, and comfortable containment hood that keeps others safe around the wearer.
Low costs and quick production techniques are crucial to the deployment of this solution. To keep production simple, the team developed a self-supporting 3D enclosure of elegant construction — comprising only easily produced sheet elements in plastic and fabrics.
The 2D to 3D construction forms the main body of the X-Hood, which allows for quick production and deployment. By eschewing the standard mask format, the whole back fabric sheet can be used as a filter. When coupled with assisted airflow, this large surface reduces the resistance for filtered exhalation to exit. The new hooded format also gives the wearer’s cough or sneeze more room to dissipate and slow down; this space dampens the momentum of high-velocity cough droplets, and retains more of them within the hood instead of breaking out at the mask perimeter.
X-Hood provides a more comfortable wearing experience with more breathing space. An additional design detail in the form of small fabric apertures at the side of the hood allows the wearer to hear better and make small adjustments to eyewear. The 3D shape formed by the intersecting sheets also remains elegant and sleek.
The design is currently in progress for optimizing the management of exhalation and evaluating the pros and cons of assisting the airflow with powered devices, which will increase wearable durations but increase the sanitization workload for infection control teams in hospitals. If successful, the X-Hood poses a safer, more reliable droplet containment shield for patients, while taking comfort into account and keeping costs low.