The live events sector vaporized when the pandemic prompted lockdowns and enforced physical distancing measures, putting an end to everything from pro sports to small parties.
A couple of Belgian entrepreneurs looked at what was going to be a nightmare 2020 for their events-driven digital photobooth business, and did a clever pivot. Normally, their Cheeesebox digital photo booths are used for private or corporate events.
When business dried up for that, they figure out a way to take photos with the booth and then print out the lower part of the captured face on washable cotton masks (that have replaceable filters). The result are people walking around with “completed” faces.
There is as a novelty aspect to this, of course, a spin on how people are wearing masks that have everything from their beloved sports team colors to their family tartan. But this is also making sense for restaurants that want to keep servers safe but also show diners who is working their table.
These kinds of masks have a role in health care settings. They’re not medical grade masks but could function, I think, as an overlay over proper PPE and humanize caregivers for patients, especially kids.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.