Sensors attached to the mask can react to as little as 0.3 microliters of the virus in the air, detecting the covid-19 virus and the H5H1 and H1N1 flu viruses in the air within 10 minutes and sending notifications to the device, the China Media Group (CMG) reports.
The study, led by six associate scientists at Tongji University in Shanghai, was published in the scientific journal Meter on September 19.
The new device, which mounts outside the mask and has a rechargeable lithium battery, was tested by spraying pathogens on it in an enclosed space, simulating a real-life scenario where someone is talking or coughing.
The sensors responded to the liquid in an amount 70 to 560 times smaller than that produced by a sneeze, sending alerts to wireless devices such as phones.
The long-term pandemic has encouraged the mass wearing of masks. However, the easing of measures related to covid 19 in many countries has led to a decline in the use of masks.
An Axios-Ipsos survey in early September found that 37 percent of Americans wear a mask outside the home, down significantly from 89 percent two years ago.
However, the use of masks is still widespread in some countries including China, which adheres to a strict zero-covid policy. Also, many people continued to wear masks to protect themselves from the virus regardless of official recommendations.