96% filter now available

The 96% filter contains electro-static charges and is highly effective to trap fine dusts and particles even below 0.3 micron. The filtration efficiency is 96%, one percent higher than typical N95 mask. Advantage: It is easy to breathe (but more difficult than 94%) while maintaining high level of protection.

When you put on the Totobobo mask installed with the 96% filter, you will feel the “suction” effect more prominently as you inhale.
This filter is not NOISH certified.

The 96% filter is now available for purchase.

Advanture Nomad review of Totobobo mask

Kenneth Koh and Laura Liong of Advanture Nomad recently went to Vietnam for their first long cycling trip. They brough along the Totobobo mask to help keeping the occational air pollution in check.

You can read Kenneth’s review of Totobobo mask and loads of interesting stuffs here

Photo courtesy of Laura Liong

Rice paddy field just off Highway 1, near Hoi An, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Laura Liong

Rush hour in Danang, Vietnam.

Rush hour in Danang, Vietnam.

96% filter

Due to recent demand for flu prevention, we will soon introduce a new filter call 96%, one percent more efficient than N95 filters. Which allows the wearer to block more contemination (e.g. virus) out of the breathing zone.

Similar to the existing 94% filter, the 96% contains electro-static charged filber. It is designed to filter out at least 96% of the most penatrating particles of 0.3 micron size.

Watch our “buy page”for the latest update.

Totobobo mask now available in Paula Ford’s blog

If you live in the Continental United States, you can now get your Totobobo mask from Paula Ford, the pastel artist.

paula-totobobo

Comfortable Totobobo mask allows Paula Ford to concentrate on her pastel painting.

This is what she have to say to the artists amongst you:

“I have searched for masks and have purchased many. They have all been uncomfortable and have had gaps so the protection was never good. They have all gone in the trash until I found this mask…the TOTOBOBO Mask…

I fully endorse this mask and LOVE it so much that I am selling it here on my blog!”

Singapore mask designed to protects children

News release
(Singapore, 4 May 2009)  As swine flu (H1N1) continues to spread, young children are at greater risk because of their lungs is still under development and there is a lack of child-friendly respiratory masks. The customisable Totobobo mask offers parents a reassuring solution and is seeing strong demand from around the world.

Totobobo mask fit children with small face size

Totobobo mask fit children of different ages

The patented Totobobo mask was created by product designer Francis Chu to meet the need for children respiratory protection. Made from “Totosoft”, a custom-blend soft plastic formulated using FDA approved sources, the mask is also equipped with two powerful electro-static filters. The mask can be trimmed to fit children as young as five-years-old. Parents can see through the transparent mask and double check if it fits their child snuggly.

For a mask to be effective, it has to fit the face snuggly, so that airborne viruses cannot seep through any gaps. Children wearing adult-sized respiratory masks, whether NIOSH-certified or not would be exposed to contaminated air due to the ill fit.

normal N95 mask does not fit children

normal N95 mask is too big for children

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the USA tests and certifies respiratory devices on the market such as the current standard N95 masks. This test is only conducted on adults. The certification determines the filtration efficiency and does not guarantee how well the masks fit. All NIOSH-certified respiratory masks, such as N95 masks, are fixed sizes and do not come in smaller sizes for children.

In 2003, when SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) first broke out, Francis Chu, a father of two, got first-hand experience of the anxiety of parents concerned about his children’s safety. His children were only six and eight-years-old. At that time and he could not find a mask that would fit their small faces.

“I felt hopeless knowing that my children were in imminent danger if they go into crowded public space like schools or playgrounds and that I could not do anything about it.”
“The sense of threat prompt me into looking for a design solution that will fit all face shapes including children.” explains Francis.

The customisable Totobobo respiratory mask that Francis eventually created, after experimenting with hundreds of prototypes, fits both adult and child. Its soft and light material (only 20grams) makes it less irritable for children who might find it uncomfortable wearing a normal mask.

“I was thinking from a parent’s perspective during the design process and that pushed me harder to make the mask as practical as possible. I am happy to know that with the child-friendly Totobobo mask, parents now have a practical choice to better assured of their children’s safety,” adds Francis.

Related:
Time for a better mask to protect children
Parent testimonial

Totobobo in Business Times

Published May 2, 2009, By Cheah Ui-Hoon

Put on a brave face

The Totobobo is the world’s first customisable respiratory mask.

Totobobo in businesstimes 2009-05-02

Courtesy of Business Times

The swine flu that’s sweeping North America and Europe might have you rifling through your cupboards for the face masks you bought six years ago. While most of us simply chucked them into some cabinet or drawer after the Sars outbreak, one man was motivated by the fact that A: The N95 plastic masks are uncomfortable, and B: children could only wear surgical masks and these didn’t filter out airborne viruses.

BREATHE EASY

Totobobo is made with a special blended plastic which is soft enough to comply comfortably to the contours of the face, but not too soft that it touches the mouth.

Product designer Francis Chu put on his thinking cap, after encountering these problems in 2003. ‘As a father of two young children, I was really concerned about this. The challenge that presented itself was clear – to come up with a mask that would fit not just adults but children, and at the same time feel comfortable,’ he explains.

Being a product designer, he was therefore sensitive to user issues and ergonomic requirements. ‘Although I don’t have medical training, I have been involved in designing for disabled children,’ he says. ‘I studied the principle for respiratory protection in different fields, including the medical. I also asked advice from my friends working in the hospitals,’ he adds.

To fund this project, Mr Chu sold his car, trading it in for a bicycle for transport. He started creating hundreds of prototypes using paper first, to find a shape that would best fit various face sizes.

It took six months before he came up with a final design, and he filed an initial patent for it in 2004. That was the genesis of Totobobo (Mandarin for transparent (toto) and protection (bobo)). From then on, it was a matter of getting it to the market, which Mr Chu did – and in no better time as well – earlier this year.

Having a snug fit is important because if it doesn’t fit, you’re not fully protected from contaminated air.

Totobobo is now the world’s first customisable respiratory mask, designed to fit all face shapes, which is also child-friendly.

Having a snug fit is important, he stresses, because if it doesn’t fit, it means you’re not fully protected from contaminated air. This defeats the purpose of wearing a mask, he points out.

‘Current respirator solutions require fit-tests to ensure that the mask fits the individual’s face, which isn’t a realistic requirement for most people,’ explains Mr Chu. In terms of fit, Totobobo is made with a special blended plastic which is soft enough to comply comfortably to the contours of the face, but not too soft that it touches the mouth. The mask doesn’t contain silicon or latex, but can be washable.

On both sides are filtering material imported from Germany, which is able to block 94 per cent of very fine particles including bacteria and germs. ‘If a higher level of protection is needed, you can put two layers of filters together and that will bring the filtration efficiency up to 99 per cent, comparable to N99 masks,’ says Mr Chu.

The good thing is that putting on the mask won’t make you look like a SWAT team member. ‘My intention was to design a mask for normal people and I wanted to create something that would not look too odd when worn in public places, such as a crowded bus during the flu season,’ he explains.

The current swine flu scare is certainly going to see sales of Totobobo go up, but even before this scare, Singapore-based Dream Lab One (the company that Hong Kong-born Mr Chu and his wife, Sharon Li, started) had been selling the mask online, and it has been bought by consumers from over 20 countries.

Among the target audience are cyclists and asthma sufferers, as well as travellers who need to block out both polluted air and other various irritants.

If you’re checking through your mask supplies, it’s time to get up to date with a Totobobo mask. Most likely, the surgical masks from the 2003 Sars days would be unusable, as the straps would have disintegrated into pieces. I should know since I unearthed mine this week.

———————————–
more media news:
Totobobo in Channel News Asia

Totobobo in Business Week

Put on a brave face

The Totobobo is the world’s first customisable respiratory mask. By Cheah Ui-Hoon

Totobobo featured in Business Times

Totobobo featured in Business Times

Business Times- May 2, 2009

The swine flu that’s sweeping North America and Europe might have you rifling through your cupboards for the face masks you bought six years ago. While most of us simply chucked them into some cabinet or drawer after the Sars outbreak, one man was motivated by the fact that A: The N95 plastic masks are uncomfortable, and B: children could only wear surgical masks and these didn’t filter out airborne viruses.

BREATHE EASY
Totobobo is made with a special blended plastic which is soft enough to comply comfortably to the contours of the face, but not too soft that it touches the mouth.
Product designer Francis Chu put on his thinking cap, after encountering these problems in 2003. ‘As a father of two young children, I was really concerned about this. The challenge that presented itself was clear – to come up with a mask that would fit not just adults but children, and at the same time feel comfortable,’ he explains.

Being a product designer, he was therefore sensitive to user issues and ergonomic requirements. ‘Although I don’t have medical training, I have been involved in designing for disabled children,’ he says. ‘I studied the principle for respiratory protection in different fields, including the medical. I also asked advice from my friends working in the hospitals,’ he adds.

To fund this project, Mr Chu sold his car, trading it in for a bicycle for transport. He started creating hundreds of prototypes using paper first, to find a shape that would best fit various face sizes.

It took six months before he came up with a final design, and he filed an initial patent for it in 2004. That was the genesis of Totobobo (Mandarin for transparent (toto) and protection (bobo)). From then on, it was a matter of getting it to the market, which Mr Chu did – and in no better time as well – earlier this year.

Totobobo is now the world’s first customisable respiratory mask, designed to fit all face shapes, which is also child-friendly.

Having a snug fit is important, he stresses, because if it doesn’t fit, it means you’re not fully protected from contaminated air. This defeats the purpose of wearing a mask, he points out.

‘Current respirator solutions require fit-tests to ensure that the mask fits the individual’s face, which isn’t a realistic requirement for most people,’ explains Mr Chu. In terms of fit, Totobobo is made with a special blended plastic which is soft enough to comply comfortably to the contours of the face, but not too soft that it touches the mouth. The mask doesn’t contain silicon or latex, but can be washable.

On both sides are filtering material imported from Germany, which is able to block 94 per cent of very fine particles including bacteria and germs. ‘If a higher level of protection is needed, you can put two layers of filters together and that will bring the filtration efficiency up to 99 per cent, comparable to N99 masks,’ says Mr Chu.

The good thing is that putting on the mask won’t make you look like a SWAT team member. ‘My intention was to design a mask for normal people and I wanted to create something that would not look too odd when worn in public places, such as a crowded bus during the flu season,’ he explains.

The current swine flu scare is certainly going to see sales of Totobobo go up, but even before this scare, Singapore-based Dream Lab One (the company that Hong Kong-born Mr Chu and his wife, Sharon Li, started) had been selling the mask online, and it has been bought by consumers from over 20 countries.

Among the target audience are cyclists and asthma sufferers, as well as travellers who need to block out both polluted air and other various irritants.

If you’re checking through your mask supplies, it’s time to get up to date with a Totobobo mask. Most likely, the surgical masks from the 2003 Sars days would be unusable, as the straps would have disintegrated into pieces. I should know since I unearthed mine this week.