Published on November 30, 2020, Updated on November 30, 2020
It’s an under-statement to say that our relationship with face masks has evolved at warp speed in 2020. Clunky N95s, flimsy single-use masks, fashionable cloth alternatives – we’ve tried it all. But the same issues remain: getting a proper seal, wastefulness, breathability and, most importantly, peace of mind when working out, commuting or travelling.
One Singapore-based start-up aims to be the final word on face masks with its game-changing technology. Founded in 2019 by banker-turned-entrepreneur Ivan Simetovic, Ultramasx Technologies has tackled the fundamental trade-off with face masks: the better the protection it provides, the less comfortable it is.
According to Ivan, his company’s flagship product, UltraOne, is the most technologically advanced ventilated mask on earth. Here’s what makes it so special.
First things first, UltraOne’s proprietary UltraFilters capture over 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 micrometers or PM0.03. That’s thanks to its four-layer structure, comprising sterilising paper, ultra-fine activated carbon, the all-important HEPA grade 12 filter membrane and a waterproof, non-woven layer. Its newest model also has an exhaust filter that protects those around you from the air you exhale. All in all, its advanced filtration structure makes UltraOne suitable for daily wear even on busy subways, long-haul flights and polluted cities – and certainly during Singapore’s regular haze seasons.
With a filtration system like that, you’d be forgiven for assuming that breathing comfortably would be a problem. But what sets UltraOne apart from almost every other mask on the market is its electric ventilation system. Its mask body contains an active, two-speed turbofan that pushes 6.9 cubic metres of purified air per hour, giving your mask excellent airflow and making it your personal air-purifying device. This little feature means you likely won’t feel the need to take off your mask when you walk uphill, climb stairs or jog, even on a sweltering day.
Let’s face it (pun intended), cloth masks stretch with a wash or two and start slipping down your face. They get sweaty, and the elastic loops can hurt your ears if you wear them for long periods of time. But thanks to its medical-silicone face seal, UltraOne fits perfectly every time, making it both more comfortable and safer – and unlikely to fog up your glasses! You can also converse normally, in person or over the phone, with the mask on.
Sustainability and eco-consciousness have had to take a bit of a back seat this year, and trashing single-use masks every day doesn’t help. The UltraOne mask, on the other hand, lasts for years. Its turbofan is USB rechargeable, with each 2.5-hour charge lasting four to six hours. The UltraOne comes with two UltraFilter cartridges, each lasting up to 30 days, and additional filters are available for purchase. The fashion-conscious can also purchase up to four different magnetic covers to match your outfit, from military green to sweet pink.