Face the Future

frog — Virtual Reality Mask

The AirWaves mask protects wearers from the unpleasant and unhealthy consequences of air pollution. The VR-capable mask helps monitor air quality and allows wearers to enter a virtual world, distancing themselves from the consequences of a polluted world.

Air pollution is an increasing concern for urban areas around the world. Despite efforts to create clean, safe cities, the needs of industry and consumer power generation have continued to yield poor air quality for millions of global citizens. What to do? As part of a global internal competition, frog dreamed up various ways to combat the problem. The winning solution: the provocative AirWaves face mask that reports on conditions around the globe, and if desired, can impart its own virtual climate reality on the wearer.

Each mask contains sensors that track the particulars of one’s environment, inclusive of interior and exterior spaces. This information is tracked and merged with the readings of thousands of other masks, forming a global data network. The crowdsourced network acts as a counterpoint to government readings, is continuously updated and can be viewed at the macro level or drilled down to one’s own neighborhood. Proactive alerts make users aware of conditions at the places they’re going to, keeping them safe.

But sensors are only the start. The mask is not just a global alert system; it also acts as personal climate intervention, creating a microenvironment for its wearer that can transport them to a cleaner, greener space. Once the mask is activated, smells, sounds and even air quality can be altered to create a full, artificial sensory experience. Facial expressions can be read, modulating the mask and the environment it generates. The troubled outside world can be reskinned, effectively winding time back.

A lasting answer to global pollution and climate change will only arrive when advances in science and technology join with industrial and consumer policy to reflect the shifting values of our planet. Until that happens, the best we can do is protect ourselves and our loved ones, and advocate for the world in which we wish to live. Physically, we hope, but perhaps also virtually.

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