Apple is designing a custom face mask for its corporate and retail employees [Updated]

Earlier this year, Apple was developing its own Face Shield in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Now, it has started creating its own face masks.

Update (09/09/2020)So, there was a bit of a mix up in the original report, and, subsequently this one. While Apple is indeed designing one of the two masks, they are not designing both. Apple designed the “Face Mask”, while ClearMask LLC designed the ClearMask.

You can learn more about ClearMask from the dedicated website.

The original article continues below.

That’s according to a report from Bloomberg today. To be specific, Apple is actually developing two different face coverings: the Apple “Face Mask” and the Apple “ClearMask”. The former of the two features three layers of material to block out particles. The other is actually a clear mask, the first of its kind to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Apple will start sending the custom face masks to its corporate and retail employees soon, according to the report. While the Face Mask will be more familiar, the ClearMask is designed so those hard of hearing or deaf can lipread. These new face coverings options are said to be replacing the N95 masks that corporate and retail employees have been wearing.

Apple told staff that the masks were designed and manufactured completely by Apple. The company, which confirmed the news, said it conducted careful research and testing to find the right materials to filter the air properly while not disrupting the supply of medical personal protective equipment.

Both masks were developed completely in-house. The Face Mask, while not clear, does stand out for its design in its own right:

The Apple Face Mask is made up of three layers to filter incoming and outgoing particles. It can be washed and reused as many as five times, the company told employees. In typical Apple style, the mask looks unique with large coverings on the top and bottom for the wearer’s nose and chin. It also has adjustable strings to fit around a person’s ears.

Apple has donated millions of N95 masks since the start of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States earlier this year. And Apple has donated millions of Face Shields as well. There’s no word in the original report if Apple plans on distributing these new face coverings beyond Apple.