PPE-inspired suit for partying during Covid-19 lets you drink and vape at clubs and concerts
- Designers created a concept for nightlife-enabling PPE, inspired by hazmat suits.
- Air is filtered using N95 filters, and the battery-powered suit is controlled by a smart phone.
- For a real party experience, the suit even allows the wearer to drink or vape.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Partying might look different in a post-coronavirus world. Designers at Production Club created Micrashell, a full body suit that "allows you to safely socialise in times of a pandemic."
In introducing the Micrashell, Production Club references the value of social distancing for slowing the spread of Covid-19, but notes the potential economic and mental tolls of prolonged isolation. The studio calls it a "socially responsible solution" to letting people be together without distancing, especially to recreate nightlife and entertainment, like concerts and nightclubs.
Production Club, headquartered in Los Angeles and Spain, said in a statement that the team worked in 12 hour shifts between the two time zones to create the prototype. Others in the industry are mostly focusing on solutions for virtual events, while the Micrashell reimagines a way to gather in person. So far the suit is just a concept and is not for sale, but it might be in the future.
"Our primary thought is that it will be sold to businesses rather than individuals," Production Club told Business Insider. "Our initial idea has been to have promoters, venues, and entertainment groups help subsidise the cost to allow events to operate at a higher capacity and in a safe fashion. That said, we're not closing any doors since we're still in the early stages and I do believe that there will be some kind of purchase route available as well for music enthusiasts."
Here's how it works.
The top-only suit design means it can be worn over regular clothes, and wearers can go to the bathroom without having to remove the whole suit.
It's powered by two lithium-ion batteries, which can also be used to charge a cell phone.
Clean air is sucked into a vent on the back of the helmet. Then, the air is supplied to the helmet through distributors in the front, letting people dance next to each other without breathing in the same air.
The shield around the eyes is a clear hybrid material, and the rest of the helmet is see-through and made of a flexible fabric to allow movement.
The helmet area of the suit has everything a person needs for a safe concert experience — filtered air, high-quality speakers, and cushioning to ensure a comfortable fit.
To fully recreate the nightlife experience, the Micrashell even has a way for wearers to vape and drink while staying protected.
Canisters with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks or vape liquid magnetically snap into place on the suit. Wearers can consume them by pressing a button, and can see how much is left using the integrated smartphone app.
The creators also emphasised other benefits of this system, like removing the risk of drinks being tampered with, and reducing long bar lines.
The suit's gloves and the helmet each have magnetic pull-latches to make them easy to put on and prevent contact with other surfaces. Ultra-sensitive finger tips are useful for maintaining tactility.
A smartphone goes into a pouch on the arm, and all aspects of the suit are controlled by the phone.
Wearers can speak to each other using a wireless voice communication system based on physical location. Different privacy modes allow everyone or only certain groups of people, like a contact list, to speak to the wearer. It can even limit communication to only specific people.
Allowing wearers to control audio levels — like decreasing audio levels of the DJ to have a conversation with a friend — could also improve the traditional concert experience.
The suit is designed to be one size fits all, with a strap system that can be adjusted to anyone. The suit can also be personalised with patches and add-ons, like this pouch.
The suit features a camera on the chest area that ensures the wearer's vision isn't obstructed by blind spots on the helmet or other equipment.
The helmet is covered in LED lights that can be controlled through the app, so depending on how the suit is used, people could change the light to signal different emotions.
While many are experimenting with virtual concerts, the Micrashell might be a promising way allow people to gather in person before a vaccine is developed.
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