>Japan unveils cool face mask
Several companies in different fields are hurrying to develop cool and dry face masks to help people in the upcoming sweltering summer heat in Japan as they continue to wear masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mizuno Corp in late May started sales of face masks made with a soft stretch tricot material that is used for its swimsuits and wear for track and field athletics.
By using the material, the repeatedly washable mask can fit the face with less stress and help prevent splash infections, the sportswear maker said.
The product - which costs 935 yen ($8.74) including tax - gained strong popularity, with 20,000 pieces sold on its first online sales day.
Yonex Co, a maker of equipment for badminton, tennis and other sports, will sell masks made with its "Very Cool" material containing xylitol from early July.
Fast Retailing Co, operator of the Uniqlo chain, plans to start selling face masks this summer featuring a highly breathable and fast-drying material used for its popular AIRism underwear products.
Knit Waizu, a knitwear maker in Japan, has put on sale cloth masks equipped with ice packs.
The mask has two pockets to hold four refrigerant packs and can cool the user's face for one to two hours.
The new mask sells for 1,300 yen, including tax, in vending machines and online sales are also available. The mask can be used repeatedly if cooled in a freezer.
>Post-pandemic office debuts
Egyptian architect and designer Mohamed Radwan created a system of office pods for the post-COVID-19 workplace, for a project called "Q.workntine."
Last month, the design was recognized with an award in the Responsible Design category at the DNA Paris Design Awards.
Radwan's design creates individual pods for workers.
The pods could be a relatively safe solution for workers whose jobs are difficult or impossible to do at home.
Radwan says that the pod system can maintain the same number of employees.
Inside, the workspace looks like any typical cubicle.
Pods each have automatic doors that operate with facial recognition, so there's no need to touch and contaminate them.
The pods will be made of a non-porous material for easy disinfection.
Ventilation fans with built-in air purifiers prevent the virus spreading among coworkers.
The door is acrylic, with an airtight seal.
Hexagonal pods are arranged in a hive shape that can accommodate different office layouts.
Compared to a regular office layout, they take up about the same amount of space.