Hawaii engineers semi-finalists in worldwide mask challenge

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Updated: Nov. 22, 2020 at 7:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A group of local engineers have made it to the semi-finals in a worldwide challenge that is focused on finding the best mask design of the future.

Team Merlin! is one of ten semi-finalists in the Million Dollar XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge and is looking for all the support they can get to make it to the finals.

The mask they’ve designed is called a mutually protective PPE device, which they began working on in the Spring.

Brandon Zunin, lead engineer of the team said they wanted to create a mask that’s comfortable and not obtrusive.

Zunin adds that the mask has a narrow profile, so your facial expressions can be seen.

It also doesn’t distort your voice and the seal prevents leaks, which means the person wearing it and the people around them are protected.

“The Merlin! mask is fabricated using a high output, zero waste method, which makes it an ecofriendly choice, responsible for our planet and also an affordable and accessible choice for our communities,” said Zunin. “We’ve really focused on waste reduction and efficiency without sacrificing on comfort and effectiveness.”

The finalists will be announced on Dec. 1st.

The winning design will be developed for manufacturing and mass distribution.

To help Team Merlin! get to the finals, you can vote for their design here.

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