Northwestern creates new sensor, FaceBit, that can tell if face mask fits properly

Northwestern creates new sensor, Facebit, that can tell if face mask fits properly
N95, surgical and cloth face masks. Photo credit JJ Gouin/ Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – A new smart sensor has been developed at Northwestern University that measures how well a mask fits a person's face.

FaceBit is sort of like a Fitbit and also measures heart rate and respiration. It’s the size of a quarter and attaches to a mask with a magnet.

The Chicago Tribune reported the co-developer, Josiah Hester, is an assistant professor of computer science, computer and electrical engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.

Hester said the device detects how well a mask fits by measuring the change in resistance to the wearer’s breathing.

“We know mask fit is a big industry problem, but now it’s much more important to the general population,” Hester said.

Clinical studies are needed before mass production.