Ford Motor Co. wants to help people see more smiling faces in their pandemic-altered lives.
The automaker has received patent-pending approval for N95 respirators that have a clear window to make facial expressions visible.
“One of the things that’s missing during the pandemic is the power of a smile,” Jim Baumbick, vice president of Ford’s Enterprise Product Line Management and leader of its Project Apollo personal protective equipment manufacturing effort, said in a statement. “This clear respirator promises to improve interactions between neighbors, at the store and for those who have hearing impairments.”
Ford says the clear, reusable respirators should be available this spring.
The automaker also is continuing to make regular face masks and last week said it now plans to donate 120 million masks, up from its previous commitment of 100 million.
The company didn’t advertise nationally during the Super Bowl, but it ran commercials during the TV broadcast in five states to promote mask wearing as part of its “#FinishStrong” campaign.