Air Lamp at IFFS/AFS Singapore furniture fair 2011

LenDaiYan, furniture and user interface designer at the exhibition, in front of the Air Lamps.

Our new patent pending Air-Lamp, an air filter with integrated lighting device, is currently on exhibition at the Singapore furniture fair 2011. This year I join my friend LenDaiYan to share a stand in the trade fair.

Air Lamp combines the function of air filter and linghting in one single device.
Based on a patent pending technology, Air Lamp provides clean and pollution free air while setting the mood with soothing ambient light.
The concept is now on exhibition at the International Furniture Fair Singapore 2011. Feedback from the show is so far encouraging. We have received serious inquiry from US and Europe as well as several media coverage. Designboom is the first among the media to cover the Air Lamp.

While  developing the product for production, we are also looking for potential business partners  to produce or market the product. If you know anyone is interested please drop us a note.

Kathy from Beijing- Totobobo mask for traveling in polluted cities

Kathy Redman recently travel to Beijing and she is very kind to share her experience of using Totobobo mask with her son:

Kathy and son using Totobobo mask when traveling in Beijing

Kathy and son using Totobobo mask when traveling in Beijing

We joined my husband recently on a business trip to Beijing. Our Totobobo masks came along for the ride and were photographed here outside the Forbidden City. We were especially pleased at their ease of use for our son. He was able to carry his own mask in it’s handy carry bag. He put his on and removed it with ease and was able to ensure a proper fit on his own. Though it’s not fun for any child to have to wear a mask over long periods of time, the ability to carry on with life without interruption and the reassurance it gives us parents that our children’s health is protected is worth the slight inconvenience. I wonder where else in the world Totobobo will turn up?

That’s so cool Kathy. Totobobo mask is selling to 40 countries now, all from Singapore!

bobo prototype test run

bobo is a new room air purifier concept based on the same filter technology of Totobobo mask. A unique feature of bobo allow it to double up as a diffused light, easy on the eye when use as a reading lamp. It is particularly suitable for the bedroom of children with asthma or sensitive respiratory track.

We are completing 8 functional prototypes to be exhibit in the Singapore National Museum. The public exhibition “Imprints: Designing from memories” will start from December 4th and end by the 2nd of January 2011.

bobo No.2  - Easy treasure  (??)

bobo – a piece of cloud to bring back the fresh air from good old days

“bobo” is the name designer Francis Chu given to his latest contraption which will be showcased in the National Museum of Singapore next month, along with 18 other product designers from Singapore. All designers are part of a local collective called “Little Thoughts Group”. The exhibition called Imprints- Designing from Memories” is sponsored by the National Heritage Board of Singapore. All exhibits derive from local heritage and demonstrate how designers cohere their childhood memories with their skills in designing to come up with new and innovative ideas for modern day living.

bobo is a cloud shape air purifier which doubles up as lighting. It makes use of high tech filters from TotoboboMask® to purify polluted air. At night, bobo also illuminates the surrounding with growling light as if the moon is shining behind the cloud, providing relax, serene atmosphere. There are altogether eight unique “bobo”s presented in the exhibition, all in different sizes and shapes. Each “bobo” is labelled with a Chinese name which can be seen when the light is on.

In the designer’s own words:

“ Inspiration of bobo came form my childhood memories. As a curious kid I was fascinated how clouds change and move across the sky. I enjoy spontaneous imagination triggered by the changing patterns. e.g. a white rabbit slowly morphing into a huge snail or an airplane suddenly changed to a dancing dragon. Free from computer games and traffic pollutions, those were the days that life was simpler and air was cleaner. The design intent of bobo is to bring back the clean air and memory of those simple days.”

bobo-cloud filter is patent pending, the project is sponsored by Totobobo Mask®

About the exhibition: Imprints: Designing From Memories
Following its successful first-of-its kind product design exhibition in Singapore last year, the Little Thoughts Group is geared up once again to showcase the creative talents of local product designers in December 2010 at the National Museum of Singapore.

“Imprints: Designing from Memories” features a significant collaboration with the National Heritage Board, as the theme will revolve around the exploration of heritage and culture in product design and the notion of “Singapore Design”.

The upcoming exhibition boasts an even more impressive showcase which will comprise the works of 19 local product designers. Spurred on by encouraging reviews of the last show, this year’s showcase promises to be even more awesome and inspiring, with its ‘blast from the past’ take.

4th Dec 2010 – 1st Jan 2011
10am – 6pm daily
The Atelier Gallery
National Museum of Singapore

TOTOBOBO Mask for every children of Merapi

Powerful eruption from Mount Merapi send out huge amount of smoke and ash on November 1, 2010. Photo by Sayoga

Powerful eruption from Mount Merapi send out huge amount of smoke and ash on November 1, 2010. Photo by Sayoga

Over the last several days, Totobobo Masks has been busy trying to collect all the masks possible to give all the children in Merapi, Indonesia. Totobobo masks can protect them from the volcanic ash spewed out by the recent eruption and save lives.

“One TOTOBOBO Mask for every children of Merapi” initiative is the brainchild of Mrs Sri Widowati (Wido). Initially all she could find were small surgical masks in Singapore. For those exposed to volcanic ash, containing large quantities of airborne particles, surgical masks are not very effective. Fortunately, her friend Simon found us online and put Wido in touch with Totobobo.

Visibility is only 10 meters in the northern ring road of Jojakarta

Visibility is only 10 meters in the northern ring road of Jojakarta

Only 10 meters visibility and everywhere covered with thick layers of volcanic ash. Photo by Sayoga

Visibility is low and everywhere is covered with thick layer of volcanic dust in Jojakarta. Photo by Sayoga

Within hours, a donation fund was announced on Wido’s Facebook campaign, and cash started pouring in. Aid surged in through her
social networks as news about the disaster unfolded. But another problem stood in the way: transportation. Sending the masks by DHL or
Fedex to Indonesia could take several days. Valuable time can be lost if it gets stuck in customs. The most reliable way is hand-carried by
person. If the masks do not reach Indonesian children immediately, they will suffer longer. Just when that seemed to be irresolvable,
Air Asia Indonesia offered to ship 350 masks and 3500 filters to Merapi

350 pieces of masks and 3500 of filters, to be sent by Air Asia.

350 pieces of masks and 3500 of filters, to be sent by Air Asia.

Special instruction and scissors provided

Special instruction and scissors provided

As of November 1st, Totobobo Masks had managed to collect 350 masks and 3500 filters. We prepared special instructions for customizing the mask for children and even included the scissors for trimming the masks to fit properly. From previous experience with similar
emergencies, we know that the ground staff have limited time and resources. The usefulness of the mask can be compromised if the
ground staff don’t know how to customize the masks for the children, or if they can’t find a suitable pair of scissors to do a good job. These little things seem trivial, but on site it can mean life or death.

Wido and her friend Din picked up the first 350 masks and 3500 pairs of filters on Friday, 29 October. They were on-board an evening Air
Asia flight from Singapore to Yogyakarta arriving the next day. According to the latest update from Wido’s Facebook, after some struggle through customs in Yogyakarta, all of the masks have been successfully delivered to the ground staff.

The volcano Merapi erupted again and everyone need a mask to cover their nose and mouth. Photo by Sayoga.

The volcano Merapi erupted again and everyone need a mask to cover their nose and mouth. Photo by Sayoga.

The volcano in Merapi erupted again yesterday, sending huge amounts of volcanic ash down the mountain. Totobobo masks for children is
desperately needed. We are trying our best to accelerate the production and delivery of masks in order to save the lives of Indonesians affected by this disaster. The donation account set up by Ms. Sri Widowati is still open to contribution. Please send your donation to the following account if you want to contribute, thank you.

Study: Smog Exposure Before Birth Lowers Baby’s I.Q.

ATLANTA — Pregnant women are often paranoid about their pregnancies. Now a study released this week gives them something else to watch out for.

That study linked pregnant women’s exposure to smog and air pollution to lower IQ in their babies. How concerned pregnant women should be?

Mary Hadley Ozburn is 36 weeks pregnant with her third child — her second boy. Both she and the baby are ready.

“You wanted this baby out since, what, 32 weeks?, asked her OB/GYN Dr. Michael Randell.

“Yeah!” she confirmed.

As anxious as they both may be, they will not be received into an entirely welcoming environment.

“The study’s interesting,” said Dr. Randell. “I think it supports other data that has come out showing that pollution can affect developing fetuses.”

There’s a growing number of studies that link exposure to smog in pregnant women and slowed development in their babies.

“Sure it makes sensen” Dr. Randell said. “Pollutants are brought in through the lungs. From the lungs it goes to the bloodstream…cross the placenta. And then the baby’s exposed to it.”

Mary Hadley Ozburn has heard about this study. She’s concerned — a bit.

“I might take a few more precautions being pregnant”, she said, “but certainly I wouldn’t change a lot about the way I live my life.”

For Randell, this study is one more item to add to the list of things to watch out for.

“If,” Randell said, “you are in an environment where you are near a lot of exhaust from automobiles for example, that’s something that you’d probably want to change, while you’re pregnant.”

Randell would not advise a pregnant woman to wear a surgical mask when outside. He says there is no evidence that a surgical mask is effective in blocking smog from entering the lungs.

This particular study did not have the rigorous controls that some do. Still, in concert with other studies, doctor Randell says it’s at least worth doctors and their patients talking about it.

Maybe after that conversation Mary Hadley Ozburn’s baby wouldn’t be quite so anxious.

Related reading:
Kids’ Lower IQ Scores Linked to Prenatal Pollution

Debbie needs help

Oprah Winfrey and reality TV producer Mark Burnett (SurvivorTM & The ApprenticeTM) are joining forces in search of the next big TV star

Oprah Winfrey and reality TV producer Mark Burnett (SurvivorTM & The ApprenticeTM) join forces to search of the next big TV show

If one has cancer, the choices available are few and painful. We all want better answers to common physical problems. Wouldn’t it be great to watch a show that helps individuals with all the available choices that address their problem? Alternative,medical,diet, nutrition and what ever else is out there?


Debra Witter share her experience of supporting her daughter, Kayla, to fight cancer on
Her site is a useful reference for cancer patients who wants to combine Medical & Alternatives methods to increase their chances of survival. Totobobo mask is one of her tips for people with compromised immune system to protect themselves.

She told us in a letter:

“Kayla has worn your mask every day since January 2009 and she has not been sick in any way since that time. She attends school every day and no sickness. This despite still being immune compromised. The doctors said that her immune system will not recover from the chemo for another six months. Your mask is our safety net that has proven for us its workability. When Kayla did not have the mask and went to school she ended up in the hospital for two weeks, every month, for three months, totaling 45 days. With the mask -no sickness, no hospitalizations, no colds, nothing. Your mask is far superior to any other mask on the market. Period!”

Now Debbie wants to reach out to much more people and you can actually help! She need your help to vote for her proposal for a new TV show on Oprah Winfrey’s network:

Debra Witte and cancer patient's recommendation.

Debra Witte and testimonial to her

My show idea is to feature people with a physical problem and treat them similar to that house make over show, except with this show they would have a whole team of experts providing all the available answers for that problem. In other words, diet, nutrition, alternative therapies, and medical. This is how I was able to help my daughter through her 2.5 years of cancer treatment. We applied everything that the doctors would allow us to do, and it was a lot. My girl is now cancer free and I am trying to compete in this network for my own cable TV show. That is the prize, YOUR OWN CABLE TV SHOW.

I am not movie person, have never been on TV, have no experience in this area. What I do have is experience with serious illness and researching medical journals, books and the Internet to find medically validated solutions to the health problem being addressed. I think people want answers like this, now more than ever. With the economic stresses that so many are under, it would be a very daunting task to try and figure out all the answers by themselves. That is where I come in an find the experts and all valid therapies relevant for their specific problem. This also educates the viewers that are watching. Unfortunately, most of us know people who are battling something on the physical front.

If you feel this is a good idea please jump to her audition video to vote for her.

Note: Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star” is a competition series that will premier on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s new network, in 2011. The winner of the series will host their own talk show produced for OWN.

Travel advices for asthmatic after the Iceland Eyjafjallajokul volcano eruption

“I’m traveling to London with my girl and I’d like to be prepared for any volcanic ash needs.”

Murray Kohlhaas is planning a week long trip to Europe and doesn’t want to take any chance with her asthmatic daughter.

parent see through the mask to check face seal

Clear mask allows parent to check the face for child seal easily

The volcanic dust can cause acute asthma attack if the concentration is high. In addition to the inhaler and medicine Murray purchased a transparent mask called TOTOBOBO for her daughter. She stumbled on this mask when she was reading a website call free help for cancer.

“This mask is recommended by the parents of cancer patient, and cyclists in most polluted cities use it.  I can count on it to protect my girl.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised travelers suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorders to wear masks or stay indoors to avoid potential hazards caused by the recent volcanic ash from Iceland. The effects will begin to sink in when the ash descends and falls on countries across Europe. Analysis of the ash estimated that about 25% of the particles are less than 10 microns in size, which is more dangerous because they can penetrate deeper into the lungs, according to Dr Maria Neira, Director of Public Health and Environment Department at WHO.

Eyjafjallajokull volcano Plume

Eyjafjallajokull volcano plume in Iceland

Travelers with condition of asthma or other respiratory disorders should seek advice from doctors and observe the following precautionary measure:

  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to ash or pollution.
  • Wear a mask if need to go outside. The mask should form a good seal on your face.
  • Keep inhalers and medications at hand.
  • Wear goggles or glasses. Avoid using contact lens.
  • Keep a record of allergens in case of emergency.

Testing Totobobo mask against N95 mask

Totobobo mask is the most comfortable and advanced respirator in the non-certified respirator market. In many respects the patented design is revolutionary. The original design cater to the needs of common users, who do not have access to professional fit-test facility and yet need the assurance of a well fitted respirator.

preparing Totobobo mask for test

Preparing Totobobo masks for test

A different approach
To provide assurance of good fit, we made the reusable mask with transparent plastic, so that users can see through it and check the face-seal. We make the mask customizable, so that users can trim it to fit their face. The thin and flexible plastic is highly adaptive and easily follows the contour of the face, require very little force to hold on to the face. The strap is exceptionally flexible and comfortable to use. There is silver ion anti-virus additive in the mask to make reuse more safe. all these sounds great on paper, but how does it perform in real life?

testing Totobobo mask

Testing Totobobo mask

Testing the masks
To validate the protection of Totobobo, we sent the masks to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong to test the effectiveness by professional fit-test facilities.
A randomized controlled cross over study was carreid out to compare the efficacy of Totobobo with fitted tested N95 masks (1860 or 1860s or 1862, 3M). The test was conducted in 22 healthy volunteers. The key findings are:

– The pass rate (filtration factor >100) of Totobobo mask was over 73%, while majority of (N95) masks fitting less than 40% of the test population
– The average filtration factor of fitted tested N95 masks is higher (193) then Totobobo mask (135).
– In terms of comfort, 65% subjects preferred Totobobo mask over their fitted tested N95 masks

Quote from the report:

“..Using the Totobobo mask in the panel of masks to be tested may reduce the number of masks that need to be tested before an adequate fit is found. This potential advantage, however, will need to be balanced against the time taken to trim the Totobobo mask to size. Furthermore, in situations where there is insufficient time to carry out fit testing use of the Totobobo mask may be a useful stopgap measure. In addition to this, the fact that the Totobobo mask is designed to be reusable may provide significant advantage. This would minimize the problems associated with the need to stockpile disposable masks and the difficulty of obtaining supplies in an epidemic. However, prior to concluding the mask is re-usable it is necessary to test the effect of sterilization processes on the mask. It is conceivable that such processes may make the mask less pliable and the fit less good. Moreover it is important to ensure that the process of changing the HEPA filters does not contaminate the user with infectious particles.

In terms of comfort 65% of subjects preferred the Totobobo mask over the N95 mask (1860, 1860s 3M). While the confidence interval straddles 50% this may be due to our small sample size. Comfort is an important issue when masks need to be worn for long periods of time. Greater comfort may translate into greater compliance with proper use of the mask and hence greater protection in clinical use. The experience of our ICU during SARS suggests that compliance is an important factor in determining the risk of occupational infection.”

The bottom line
If your have access to fit-test facility and have time to conduct fit test, the best option is fit-tested N95 mask. Otherwise, Totobobo mask provides reasonable good protection even if you don’t have access to fit-test facility or there is no time for fit test.

fit-test result from one of the subject

fit-test result from one of the subject

A randomized controlled pilot study to compare filtration factor of a novel non fit tested HEPA filtering facemask with a fit-tested N95 mask.
by Dr Sylvia S.W. Au, Dr Charles D. Gomersall, Patricia Leung and Dr Peggy T.Y. Li.
Dept of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.