Design-obsessed Apple crafts its own face mask [Updated]

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Apple-shield
This was Apple’s original face shield. It has a new model now.
Photo: Apple

Apple designed its own face mask because of course it did. A company long known for setting itself apart from the competition with superior design couldn’t use over-the-counter masks to protect employees and customers from COVID-19.

Instead, the team that ordinarily designs Macs and iPhones dreamed up their own face covering for Apple employees, including the people that work in Apple retail stores.

Apple Face Mask has an original design but not a creative name

Bloomberg described the Apple Face Mask — the latest creation of Apple’s Engineering and Industrial Design team — like this on Wednesday: “In typical Apple style, the mask looks unique with large coverings on the top and bottom for the wearer’s nose and chin.”

Later that day, MacRumors published images that reportedly reveal the Apple Face Mask design. It doesn’t look totally different from a typical mask, but the unique design might work better. It consists of three layers, and wearers can wash it up to five times.

The Apple Face Mask is being joined by the ClearMask, a transparent surgical mask intended for customers or employees who are deaf or hard of hearing. Apple did not design this mask. However, the company “is also working on its own transparent mask to be distributed to employees in the future,” according to MacRumors. (You can see the ClearMask in the video below.)

Apple employees should start receiving both types of masks in the next two weeks.

Earlier this year, Apple designed transparent face shields for medical workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple made millions of them and gave them away. The company also donated millions of face masks.

Editor’s note: We updated this story to clarify that Apple did not design the ClearMask and add additional information about the Apple Face Mask.