To help prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading even more than it should, many governments and health organizations around the world are recommending that we wear masks. However, there are many types of masks out there, ranging from the more surgical types to homemade cloth ones, but which masks are the best?
Thanks to researchers over at Duke University, they have decided to harness the power of AI to help them find out which masks are the most effective at protecting the wearer against COVID-19. This test involved the use of a black box, a laser, and a cellphone camera, along with an algorithm that is used to help calculate the results.
The wearer will wear a mask and speak into the black box by saying, “Stay healthy, people” and the laser and camera will then attempt to measure the amount of water particles emitted when the person speaks. Based on that, the lower the amount of water that is emitted, the safer/more effective the mask is.
So what did the researchers discover? According to their findings, they found that the fitted N95 was the most effective, followed by surgical-grade masks, and then a poly/cotton blend. They also found that the masks that were the least effective were bandanas, and masks made from fleece which apparently did worse than not wearing a mask at all.