Apple reveals its coronavirus face shield design

Apple has unveiled its design for a face shield to protect health workers fighting coronavirus, which it is producing in the millions.

Apple is the latest company to design a face shield, with architecture studio Foster + Partners, sports brand Nike, and researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Cambridge among the organisations that have already created versions of the personal protective equipment (PPE).

"We've launched a company-wide effort, bringing together product designers, engineering, operations, and packaging teams, and our suppliers, to design, produce, and ship face shields for health workers," said Tim Cook in a post on Twitter.

Apple face shields

The piece of PPE designed by Apple is made of three pieces – the face shield, forehead strap and silicone strap. Instructions on how to assemble the shield have been posted on Apple's support website along with an informational video.

Apple's shields can be assembled in less than two minutes and are fully adjustable. They can be worn in two ways, regular fit and extra space.

Apple face shields

According to the company, they will be shipped flat in boxes of 100.

Apple has delivered the first face shields to a medical facility in California and is planning to manufacture a million masks per week in the US and China.

"Our first shipment was delivered to Kaiser hospital facilities in Santa Clara Valley this past week, and the feedback was very positive," explained Cook.

"We're sourcing materials and manufacturing in US and China. We plan to ship over one million by the end of this week, and over one million per week after that."

"We are closely coordinating with medical professionals and government officials across the US to get these to where they're needed most urgently," he continued. "We hope to quickly expand distribution beyond the US."

Apple face shields

Face shields are designed to offer protection from fluids that may contain the coronavirus, however they are designed to be worn with a face mask and other protective clothing.

"Intended to be worn with PPE," reads an Apple disclaimer. "The device has not been tested or qualified to prevent or reduce infection, and does not provide particulate filtration."

Foster + Partners has created a laser-cut face shield, while researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Queensland designed an origami face shield that is made by folding a sheet of clear plastic and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers made a disposable face shield that is made from a single piece of plastic.