The US government will pay you up to $500,000 to design a less annoying face mask – Ian Carlos Campbell

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Over a year into the pandemic, we’ve seen a wide variety of masks, from totally unsafe fashion pieces, to RGB nightmares, not to mention a bunch of other stylish options. But if you think you might have an idea for a better mask that more people might want to wear, the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has announced a competition to design “the next generation of masks” — with a potential $500,000 total prize waiting for the winners.

The Mask Innovation Challenge was created in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, an organization under the CDC) to address some of the common complaints leveled at masks, like the fact they can fog up glasses,…

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