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This might be the Space Age suit you wear to concerts during COVID-19

Click to play video 'New futuristic suit prototype could be a solution to social distancing' New futuristic suit prototype could be a solution to social distancing
The Micrashell Futuresuit (or “Micrashell” for short) is a prototype personal protective suit which could one day serve as a potential alternative, or solution, to social distancing.

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, you’re probably tired of watching artist livestreams of outdated concerts on YouTube and Instagram. Or maybe you’re just missing the overall experience of physically attending a concert.

But what if we told you there might be a solution to your predicament? A solution that will likely test just how badly you wanted to see Justin Bieber, Rage Against the Machine‘s highly anticipated reunion tour or even world-renowned K-pop group BTS in the first place.

Los Angeles-based company Production Club is working to turn a high-tech suit designed for partying during the pandemic into a reality for eager eventgoers.

A digital rendering of a scenario in which people are using Production Club’s Micrashell Futuresuit, which is described as a concept solution to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A digital rendering of a scenario in which people are using Production Club’s Micrashell Futuresuit, which is described as a concept solution to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Production Club

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Called the Micrashell Futuresuit, Production Club asserts the prototype personal protective suit could one day serve as a potential alternative to social distancing.

After noticing the heavy impact social isolation has had on not only the global economy but people’s overall mental health, the company decided it wanted to make a change. In three weeks, Production Club brewed up the concept and is now working hard to make it a reality.

“After witnessing the events industry fall into an unprecedented recession and seeing large groups of people ignore social-distancing directives in order to go out and party, we felt obligated to address both issues and find a solution that benefited all,” said Miguel Risueño, Production Club’s head of inventions.

Another representative of the company told Global News that the idea is being marketed towards “corporations, venues and entertainment groups” in hopes that they will “absorb the costs of Micrashell and provide them to consumers when they gather in groups for events,” such as concerts, clubs or even conferences.

A digital rendering of a prototype design of Production Club’s Micrashell Futuresuit, which explains its air-filtration system.
A digital rendering of a prototype design of Production Club’s Micrashell Futuresuit, which explains its air-filtration system. Production Club

The company is aiming to create a suit that will allow people to simultaneously interact and socialize in close proximity while staying protected from the threat of the novel coronavirus.

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In order to do so, the company says, the Micrashell has been designed as an air-tight top suit with a built-in N95 air filter. The “hybrid soft hard helmet” will be made of tactical, high-performance cut fabric with a “protective shield” visor to ensure easy visibility.

Production Club said the suit overall has been developed for “durability, endurance and easy disinfecting procedures.”

Because it fits on only the top half of your body, it will allow for easy washroom access, too, meaning no awkward or unpleasant wardrobe changes in a cramped stall. The company also suggested users can “have sex” while wearing it. (Not that we’re encouraging that kind of thing.)

As a prototype, none of these functions has been definitely proven, but the tech company is optimistic.

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With something this bizarre and futuristic-looking, of course, it’s full of gadgets. But as it stands, the Micrashell is still a mere concept.

Not only has Production Club advertised the Micrashell to include a built-in phone charger, smartphone integration, HD camera and private voice chat, the suit is also designed to have an “in-suit beverage and vape supply” apparatus, too.

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Whether this is all achievable, however, is currently unknown. Does it seem unrealistic? Perhaps. But that’s why the company is still in the prototype phase.

A digital rendering of a prototype design of Production Club’s Micrashell Futuresuit, which expands on some of its included features.
A digital rendering of a prototype design of Production Club’s Micrashell Futuresuit, which expands on some of its included features. Production Club

Before it sees the light of day, Production Club told Global News that it needs to ensure the suits follow the correct safety guidelines and utilize approved materials and fabrics.

In order to do so, the company said that while “prototyping” the Micrashell filtration system, it has been “following already standardized systems and existing pieces approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).”

A company representative used 3M’s 5N11 particulate filter as an example and cited it as “a foundation for our work that will need to then be further developed.”

“Fundamentally, it comes down to following the standards defined by NIOSH and the fitting procedures by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),” the rep said.

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Because the Micrashell is still in its “internal prototype phase,” an exact market date could not be provided to Global News.

A representative said the next step for the company is to find the right “manufacturers” and “fabricators” to actually make the “challenging” suits.

“Once the suit is ready, the intention is for it to be commercialized following a b2b model instead of a b2c,” wrote Production Club, suggesting that the Micrashell will be sold and distributed to venues rather than consumers.

A digital rendering of Production Club’s prototype Micrashell pandemic suit.
A digital rendering of Production Club’s prototype Micrashell pandemic suit. Production Club

On its website, Production Club describes itself as a “multidisciplinary creative studio specialized in designing and producing immersive experiences for the music, tech and gaming industries.”

In the past, the company has worked with artists like the Chainsmokers, Zedd, Foo Fighters and Skrillex, among many others, to create enhanced audio and visual experiences for their shows. The company revealed that various film and construction companies have reached out expressing interest in the Micrashell.

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The uncertainty of an end to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave citizens of the world in doubt about whether things will ever return to their former state.

That still begs the question: would you wear the Micrashell to go to a concert again?

A digital rendering of a concert scenario in which people are using Production Club’s Micrashell Futuresuit, which is a concept solution to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A digital rendering of a concert scenario in which people are using Production Club’s Micrashell Futuresuit, which is a concept solution to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Production Club

For more details and information about the Micrashell Futuresuit, you can visit the official Production Club website.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca
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