Ryan Greer Reassurance

  • Tauira / Student
    Ryan Greer
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Yueyun Song, Rodney Adank, Lyn Garrett, Jason Mitchell

Reassurance reimagines passenger airliner emergency oxygen masks, addressing the significant potential for users to wear existing masks incorrectly. Through improved affordances, product semantics and improved strap design, Reassurance provides a more intuitive solution and ensures passengers feel a level of reassurance in a high-stress situation.

In an in-flight decompression event, passengers have between 45 to 15 seconds before experiencing the effects of hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) which affects their ability to put on emergency masks correctly with potentially fatal consequences. The affordances of the current masks are frequently misunderstood and passengers put the mask on incorrectly, covering just the mouth and not both mouth and nose.

Through my design process, I explored improving the semantics and affordances of the mask shape and aesthetic. Using a more conventional mask form with an exaggerated nose and high contrast colours reduces confusion so passengers can lean into previous experiences with masks to inform how they wear this mask. I also explored different ways to decrease the time required to put on the mask as well as simplifying the tightening procedure. Reassurance uses a single strap at the front of the mask, which is tightened by swiftly pulling down with one hand while holding the mask against the face with the other. This significantly reduces the time before the passenger is supplied with emergency oxygen.

The improved design helps to provide a level of reassurance, comfort and help to give airline passengers the knowledge that if they ever found themselves needing the mask they would be able to effectively, understand and use the mask while also being confident that the mask will operate as intended.