In March 2020, a declaration of ‘Global Pandemic’ was issued by the World Health Organization in response to outbreak of the Corona Virus January 2020. Consequently, the WHO issued recommendations to lessen the spread several airborne vectors. One recommendation, easily accomplished, has come to be termed, ‘social distancing’. ‘Social Distancing’ equates to maintaining physical spacing between persons of at least 1.5 meters. A second recommendation is the wearing of face coverings, e.g., surgical masks, clear, plastic face shields, clinical-type fiber masks, and more recently cloth face coverings. Our solution is drawn to a new means, method of communication, biocontrol protection and eating/drinking while wearing any kind of face covering, such as surgical masks, plastic face shields or cloth face.
The title of the invention is, "Voice-Activated Talk-Through Safety Mask Appliance and Method", 'VATTSMA'™. See: https://www.prpocket.com/2020/06/lenoir-nc-company-files-us-patent-application-for-vattsma.html . The electronics module is ‘hinged’ such that the mask can still be worn while eating or drinking simply by the wearer pushing the back cover of the electronics module with the tongue, thereby creating a temporary opening in the mask, which can be closed simply returning the electronic module back into its original position on the front of the face covering. The appliance is designed to improve interpersonal communication by means of miniaturized voice amplification circuit, voice-activated microphone, and miniature loudspeaker such as that disclosed in US Patent #4,571,739, Intraoral Electrolarynx; US Patent #4,706,292, Speech Prosthesis; and US Patent #5,015,179 Speech Monitor. See: https://tinyurl.com/y742blc7 . By amplification and broadcast of more intelligible speech in face-to-face situations, the need to remove the mask is eliminated thereby decreasing likelihood of spreading diseases. In addition, a microsensor, show in the photo, identifies/alerts to potential airborne vectors in the vicinity. Finally, the new features allow wearing the face covering while eating, drinking, or requiring emergency medical care without compromising listerine effectiveness.