Meet Noah Hong, an 8th grader from Chicago, Illinois look to revolutionize the face mask industry with his invention The Good Breather, a personalized mask made using biometrics.
Noah identified key problems with face masks currently on the market and designed his mask to target those problems. Say good bye to masks that are too small or too large. Noah is looking to use a biometric facial recognition program to personalize masks so it fits each individual’s face just right. “My biometric facial recognition program would work by having you simply sending in a picture of your face and the program would locate key different on your face.”
No more annoying straps, the use of skin tape will ensure a secure edge seal while holding the mask in place. And the heat buildup that many of us experience when wearing masks for extended periods of time? He’s thought of that too. “At the bottom of the mask is a metal plate to aid in thermal energy management,” explains Noah. “Inside the mask is a grid of aluminum and since aluminum has a high thermal conductivity, it would help to circulate the heat from inside of the mask to the outside of the mask through the metal plate.”
Aaron Wartner with Invention Convention recently interviewed Noah as part of Invention Convention Worldwide’s ongoing series, Kid Inventor Friday.
“It all started last summer when I went to Seoul, South Korea. There were a few days where the air pollution wasn’t great and we had to wear masks outside,” explains Noah. “And it just hit that day where I realized that air pollution is only going to a bigger global issue and the equipment we had to keep ourselves safe from it, weren’t really that great. So, I want to pursue a better mask design, and it just so happened that, that year our school started invention convention and so I decided to create a better mask design.”
Given the current state of the world, the pandemic is a subject that is rarely far from our minds. “The Good Breather was designed for air pollution and is comparable to a N95 grade mask, which is also applicable for the spread of infectious diseases so you could definitely use this for COVID,” explains Noah. “There are multiple layers to the mask. On the outside is a layer of stretch fabric. Inside are layers of cotton, activated charcoal, and paper pods to help filter out particles in the air while using materials that were more natural for the environment.”
This year, Noah’s invention won at U.S. Nationals – 2nd place in his grade category & the Community/Societal Benefit Award: Sponsored by Lemelson.
Noah had this to say about his experience with Invention Convention: “Prior to this year, I didn’t really know much about Chicago Innovation, but going through this process I realized that they’re an amazing group of people who are working to help develop next generation leaders. Seeing the kind of inspiring work they’ve done for many students like me across the whole city, it really amazing me how much they’re giving to help us. Giving us feedback and support as we move forward with hour inventions.”
His advice for other young inventors interested in Invention Convention: “it’s a really good experience and really inspiring. I would just go for it. It gives you an opportunity to look around the world and see the kind of things that you can do for your community and all of the people around you,” explains Noah. “And seeing that kind of action take place where you can help others around you is just a really great feeling. It’s something I found very enjoyable and something I want to do again and again.”
WHen asked why inventing is an important part of life, especially for young people, he had this to say: “It keeps us moving forward and it keeps us more aware of the people and the problems that surround us. We get to experience working with other people, and building kind of like our own future. We get to help reshape the world to a better place that we can imagine. And seeing that change take place is really great. I think it’s something that everyone should be able to experience at least once in their life.”