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By Genevieve Mellott

No one likes wearing face masks. But if you are going to need one, wouldn’t it be better to have one that makes you feel less like Darth Vader’s fleshy cousin? UM Systems, a Colorado company, started a fundraising campaign several weeks ago that is now the most funded mask on Kickstarter. The company says the UV Mask is easier to breathe through while having an incredible 99.99% efficiency at filtering crud and killing microorganisms. (“Crud” is my term, not theirs.)

UVMask uses “a patent-pending active Sterile-Vortex UV-C sterilization,” not only preventing particles and viruses from getting into your lungs, but also from passing out of your mask and onto people around you. Creator of UVMask Boz Zou says, “We have developed UVMask with the safety of our users in mind; therefore, UVMask has been independently tested and certified by the FDA-approved and ISO 17025-accredited SGS Labs.”

It almost sounds too good to be true. While the styling is not gorgeous, its ratings suggest it will outperform N95s and reusable respirators that are very expensive and inaccessible for the average mask wearer. Who knows? Maybe once it is in mass production, users could suggest some colorful designs or other options. If it helps us breathe easily and safely and is as durable as the manufacturer claims, it may be worth the $100 price tag… for some of us.

The slick video below is a good overview – a healthy blend of science and sexiness wrapped in one-minute of upbeat music. Kickstarter campaigns don’t last forever, so if you want in on supporting this new technology or just want to read the pitch, use this link by August 14, 2020.