#1710: Anonymask

I’ve done a lot of work on face recognition -especially how to get machines to do what people do effortlessly. This led to projects involving facial disguise techniques for witnesses etc.

Today’s invention attempts to employ this on behalf of people who want to exercise publicly but are embarrassed by being ungainly, unfit, under- or overweight. People who play paintball or icehockey or who do scuba diving or urban cycling already use masks, so let’s extend that concept a little.

Almost everyone would be much more willing to turn up at a gym, or pound the pavement, if they could do so anonymously (as Maurice Bowra said when caught swimming naked: “I don’t know about you, gentlemen, but in Oxford I, at least, am known by my face.”)

The invention is therefore an exercise facemask. There would be one standard size for males and one for females. Both would be made in a wirebrushed, translucent plastic, with eyeholes. This would avoid any uncanny-valley effect, but blur details and features by diffraction so as to make identification impossible.

Other features would include:
–An integrated, ventilated hood, to hold and hide one’s hair
–A few, small foam pads to space the mask off the surface of one’s face
–A small battery-powered fan, to minimise thermal discomfort during exercise
–Earphones to allow music to be listened to
–Pollen filters

This would also allow celebrities to work-out in privacy and once adopted by them, become generally acceptable gym-wear.

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