KEY POINTS

  • Architect Sun Dayong designed a personal bubble device to protect against COVID-19
  • The device can be worn like a backpack and protects its wearer from outside environment
  • It has a UV radiation network that can sterilize the surrounding environment
  • There is so far no evidence that the virus can be killed at certain temperatures
  • In many places, people are panic buying and hoarding protective equipment

A Chinese architect created a concept design for a personal bubble that can protect its wearer during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Batman-inspired concept comes amid the dangers of possible medical supply shortages.

Be A Bat Man

On its official Instagram account, the architectural firm Penda, co-founded by Chinese architect Sun Dayong, shared its concept for a wearable device rather like a bubble that will isolate people from the potentially contaminated outside environment. Called "Be a Bat Man," the device is inspired by bats, with its carbon fiber "wings."

Once inside the bubble, the wearer would be protected from potentially contaminated respiratory droplets from which the virus is transmitted. Apart from the protection from the outside environment, the device also has an ultraviolet radiation network that can heat up and sterilize the surrounding environment.

"The coronavirus will be killed by temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius," Sun told Deezen.

Protection From Coronavirus

Can "Be a Bat Man" really kill the virus?

While it can potentially protect its wearer from pathogens, particularly since the main way that coronavirus spreads is through close contact with infected people, there is so far no information on whether certain temperatures can really kill the virus.

Further, it is still possible for people to contract the virus by touching a contaminated surface then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why authorities are advising the public to avoid people who are ill as well as stressing proper hand hygiene via thorough and regular hand washing.

As of the writing of this article, COVID-19 has infected over 91,000 people, with the most number of confirmed cases in China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.

In many countries, people have been panic buying and hoarding protective equipment such as gloves, masks, respirators, and aprons. Unfortunately, this is slowly moving us closer to possible shortages of supply for frontline healthcare workers.

In the United States alone, supplies have reportedly become sold out in major retailers such as Costco, Walmart, and Target.

If Be a Bat Man becomes a reality while the outbreak is still ongoing, it could be new protective equipment that people can turn to. 

Once the outbreak is over, Penda explains that the device could also be modified with Google Glass technology so that the user can transform it into a private mobile space.

So far, the design is still just a concept but Dayong hopes to find a backer to turn it into reality amid the global outbreak.

Hong Kong pedestrians wear face masks as a preventative measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus. The virus has spooked markets around the world, having killed more than 1,100 people and infected tens of thousands Hong Kong pedestrians wear face masks as a preventative measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus. The virus has spooked markets around the world, having killed more than 1,100 people and infected tens of thousands Photo: AFP / Anthony WALLACE