As of May 5, more than 3.5 million people in 215 countries around the world have been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization. While the world continues to socially distance, designers and creatives are beginning to imagine different ways to protect people from the virus; case in point, this futuristic bubble shield by DesignLibero.

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graphic listing bubble shield benefits

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Milan-based DesignLibero has imagined a product that brings a whole new meaning to personal space. The team has released a concept for the “bubble shield” to provide wearers with a private, protective barrier for public spaces. According to the designers, the clear, inflatable plastic dome will let users walk around in public without coming into contact with germ-filled droplets or pollution.

Related: 6 ways to save energy while sheltering in place

rendering of solar panels on a bubble-like shield

So how would this bubble shield work? The designers imagined a way to go in public without worrying about microparticles of the coronavirus or even air pollution. In addition to its anti-pollution and anti-virus properties, the shield would run on solar energy thanks to a built-in set of flower-shaped, flexible solar panels on top of the plastic dome. The solar energy would fuel a fan coil and air pump to maintain an air supply and cool the inside of the bubble.

rendering of different angles of a bubble-like shield shrouding a person

The conceptual barrier would be made using thermic-welded ETFE, a type of fluorine-based polymer material. The battery pack in the backpack is used to inflate the microstructure and acts as a power supply for the air pump compressor and fan coils. Interchangeable filters are designed to purify the air inside the bubble. There are two separate halves attached together with an easy-open zipper so that wearers can simply step in and out of the bubble to use it.

+ DesignLibero

Images via DesignLibero