Although it has become somewhat of a political issue in some countries, medical authorities mostly concur that that wearing a face mask is useful the fight against the novel coronavirus. Nevertheless, it also comes with some inconveniences, one of them being the need to remove or at least lift the mask up or down when you eat.

To address this problem, or rather, to recognize the problem in a humorous way, Japanese inventor Marina Fujiawara has created a special face mask, which you can see in action below:

A Sony MESH motion sensor behind the mask detects incoming food, which then sends a signal through Bluetooth to a processor and motor that operates a lever attached to a string (all mounted on a head harness), and ... presto! The face mask instantly rises up to give your mouth access!

If all of this looks unnecessarily unwieldy and impractical, not to mention an incomplete solution since you have to pull the mask down again with your fingers (potentially contaminating the mask), you're not alone...

In the comments section, one user pointed out that the mask seemed to work, to which Fujiwara replied: "I can't see anything during eating though."

Welcome to the world of Marina Fujiwara, creator of useless inventions.

Born in Yokohama in 1993, Fujiawara started her YouTube channel "MUDA-ZUKURI" (wasted creations) at the age of 20 in 2013. She held her first exhibition two years later, then in 2016, she won an award in Google's NextUp contest, thanks to which she received video production support which allowed her to improve her channel and reach a broader audience. Her solo exhibit in Taipei in 2018 attracted over 25,000 visitors.

Other useless inventions for pandemic times

In addition to the automatic food-sensing lift-up mask, Fujiwara also thought of a mask that "addressed" the problem of masks muffling the sound of your voice. As you can see, she added a speaker which would amplify the speakers' voice, making even the most soft-spoken of wearers audible... Or at least that's what you might expect at first glance. Of course, this being a useless invention, there's always a catch. The speaker also reproduces the muffling effect, creating a very low-quality sound as if the speakers were blown out:

If you're working from home, you have to reconcile the need to maintain a professional appearance with the fact that you're in an environment where you're usually dressed very casually. If your company has a rather formal corporate culture, as is often the case in Japan, you'll need to change into something more business-appropriate, which can be quite a bother just for an occasional meeting once or twice a day. Fujiwara's answer is a partition that can instantly create the "business look." However, as you can expect, it's far from a perfect solution...

You're attending another online meeting and things are starting to get boring, so you'd like to escape. What do you do? No worries, there's a useless invention for that. Together with a bit of acting on your part, this device will help you create the illusion that you've suddenly had a connection problem, creating an excuse for you to make your virtual exit.

This device, called the YOUMECOME, is actually available as a product sold by Maywa Denki, which you can purchase online here.

If you'd like to see more of Marina Fujiwara's amusingly useless inventions, please visit the following links:

By - Ben K.