• Apple is known for creating great product designs
  • Now, the company is also creating its own face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The masks were created in partnership with the Gallaudet University

Apple has created its own face mask for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple has actually created two kinds of face masks and is now distributing them to retail and corporate employees, who will be receiving them over the next two weeks, Bloomberg reported.

The two masks, called the Apple Face Mask and the Apple ClearMask, were developed by the company's engineering and industrial design teams. It was created in partnership with the Gallaudet University, which specializes in educating deaf students as well as students that are hard of hearing.

The masks are currently being tested by the Cupertino tech firm's employees.

Based on an image that an Apple employee sent to MacRumors, the two masks differ in design and purpose.

The Apple Face Mask is a reusable mask that can be washed and reused up to five times. The mask uses a three-layer design that is capable of filtering the air the wearer breathes in and out.

The Apple Face Mask is triangle-shaped to provide enough space for the wearer's nose (but without fogging up glasses, goggles or other eyewear), has a rounded section for the user's chin and can be worn using adjustable strings.

The ClearMask, on the other hand, is a transparent mask designed to help "people who heavily rely on visual communication, such as deaf and hard of hearing individuals, children, and older adults," according to its website. This face mask is also useful for teachers, interpreters, translators, essential employees, customer-facing employees, workers in noisy environments and people who may not speak the same language.

Despite its see-through design, the ClearMask is an FDA-cleared surgical mask.

Apple said it conducted research and testing so that it can find the necessary materials to create the masks without affecting the supply needed to create personal protective equipment for medical use.

Apple previously provided employees with standard cloth masks. The new masks will serve to protect its workers in a way that reflects the company's design ethos.

It's currently unknown, however, if Apple will distribute the masks more widely. What's clear is that the company will continue to provide customers visiting its retail stores with basic surgical masks.

Apple is expected to unveil its newest iPhone at an online event September 15
Apple AFP/Josh Edelson