Project active

Fall 2019 - Present

Problem: 

Back-country skiers and snowboarders who get trapped under snow due to an avalanche have merely minutes to be rescued before they suffer from asphyxiation.

A mask that helps the wearer breathe while trapped under the snow after an avalanche.

Solution:

Summary

SnO2 is a mask that can be worn throughout the skier or snowboarder's trip. When a dangerous situation arises, the wearer can attach a quick-release air hose to activate the valve system. The quick-release system sets SnO2 apart from the competition because it allows for quick and easy use in the midst of a stressful event such as an avalanche.

After connecting the air hose, the user can then breath in air from outside the mask via a one-way valve and exhale air through the tube, which directs the air near the user’s legs, so that they do not inhale their own poisonous carbon dioxide output.

Current Progress

SnO2 is still in the early prototyping stages of development. We have performed market research in order to gain ideas on what type of product may succeed and translated those needs into the design of our product. We have also dissected Avalung, which is a competitor of SnO2, to learn about how we can improve upon it such as by improving ease of use. Finally, we have purchased materials to begin building prototypes and have created a rough business model.

Future Goals

One of our goals for the next stages of development is to make the valves direct exhaled air into the accordion tubing. Next, we are planning on designing the quick-release system for the valve and tube so that the wearer can easily take it on and off. We are also looking into incorporating a two-way valve that can be twisted on and off so that someone can just wear the mask without using the tube.