Final prototypes are here + timeline updates + a video 📹
Airhead Mask Update - Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Hey friends of Airhead,
Today we can tell you that we've taken another few steps forward in the development of a pollution mask like you’ve never seen before. Last week we celebrated the arrival of Airhead mask prototypes that are the real deal, whilst production continues at a pace akin to that of Paula Radcliffe's running in the early noughties. Yes, it's a marathon, not a sprint, so we left Usain out of it.
This final round of brand spanking new prototypes was a necessary rubber stamp to validate the design tweaks following earlier user testing we conducted with people wearing the mask when cycling, running and walking. Right, visuals first, then we’ll give you specifics on what’s new. Thankfully, iPhones have a pretty decent camera these days.
- A groove for glasses. Trial complete, and we’re excited to announce this additional feature. User testing on our earlier prototypes found that, in some cases, people’s glasses were being pushed up their faces, given the shape of the airtight seal on the nose. This (groovy) change greatly improves how compatible this face mask is with glasses, and it’s a level of detail that was necessary to best serve the glasses-wearers amongst us. We want to be clear that it still might not suit every single frame style, but we’ve done our best to accommodate as many types of glasses as possible. And let’s not forget, with your Airhead mask, you can kiss goodbye to foggy lenses!
- The AirSkin (front cover) has been developed. We’ve previously brought this up as a ‘risk call-out’. It may come as a relief to know that we’ve made some excellent progress on this, with extensive development work to refine our 3D knitting process. Specifically, it has involved printing fabric (sounds weird to print fabric doesn’t it?), before a trial and error-based method to shrink the fabric to a size and shape that perfectly fits the mask. On the mask itself, we’ve also added some tiny hooks that will hold the AirSkin more securely in place. A big benefit of 3D knitting is that it’s zero waste i.e. only print what is required. As a company, this was super important to us as we prepare to scale whilst minimising our impact on the environment.
- Other manufacturing amendments. The filter is now simpler to replace. It’s easier to open and close the front panel of the pollution mask whilst wearing it. The hinge, strap attachments and chassis have been reinforced to minimise breakages. All good wins.
Now, for the main course of the update. The bit you're all particularly interested in. When the heck am I going to get my Airhead mask? We have a date! Given the progress we've made along the production journey, and associated lessons learned, we now have greater clarity on the makeup of each outstanding phase and, with that, an expected date of despatch. 12th July. It's gonna be a bright (bright) bright sunshiny day.
So, we hope you would agree, bright days are ahead. Thank you for coming along for the (bike) ride while we bring these (sweet as) bits of kit to fruition. For those of you already in line, you will not be disappointed with the gear that turns up at your door, we're confident about that.
Before we go, we threw together a homemade video, check it out below: