A few days ago we brought word of a revolutionary hay fever remedy from the folks at Thanko. Harnessing the mighty power of nylon and universal serial bus ports, the USB Pollen Blocker may be our savior for this impending allergy season in Japan.

To be sure, we picked one up in Akihabara and gave it to our resident ace-reporting guinea-pig Mr. Sato for a road test. Did it cure him of his seasonal sniffles or did it simply make him look like an demented bee-keeper on the streets of Tokyo? The following is his report.

  The fan is pretty quiet
I was surprised at how quiet the fan actually was after putting on USB Pollen Blocker for the first time. It has two settings – weak and strong – but on either I hardly noticed any noise. Also, since the hood completely covered my face I was worried it would cloud up, but the fan kept it clear enough for me to see.

  Visibility issues
That being said, the plastic window was naturally cloudy due to the material and did affect my quality of sight. Glass would have been better but I guess it would have been too heavy and dangerous for regular use. Nah, that wouldn’t work.

In addition, the hood made it so my peripheral vision was all but removed. This worried me the most since 75 percent of my attackers strike from directions other than straight ahead.

  Failure to communicate
Using a USB battery pack, I decided to take the USB Pollen Blocker out to a Starbucks for some coffee. Inside the shop I ordered a “coffee of the day, hot and tall” but the barista replied “you want a short?” Apparently my speaking was muffled to them. So, in situations that require conversation you might have to speak louder than usual.

  Not suitable for outdoors?
Based on my experience, the USB Pollen Blocker is best used in the home or office. I think Thanko intended that by making it USB-powered and incredibly ugly. However, keeping it indoors, I think it would be a really good help protect yourself from pollen this spring. So, for those looking for anyway to escape their allergies, you might want to check this hood out.

Original Article by Mr. Sato
Photo: RocketNews24

▼ This is what USB Pollen Blocker is like when you open the box.

▼ It reminds me of the hat I used to wear in kindergarten, only there’s a USB switch included.

▼ The fan is attached to the surface of the hat.

▼ And underneath is a surgical mask that acts as a filter. Commercially available masks are ok to use. The mask is hard screwed in.

▼ This is what it’s like to wear.

▼ It kind of feels like you’re in a world of your own.

▼ Inside, my sense of focus… heightens.

▼ Ta-dah! If you connect a USB battery you can take it outside! Time to get a coffee!

▼ Yeah… it doesn’t seem to affect my ability to walk at all.

▼ Yeah… it’s not all that different from wearing a regular hat.

▼ Yeah… but… it’s a little hazy.

▼ Yeaaaahaaaa, and I can’t see anything to my immediate right… Where’s Starbucks again?

▼ Mr. Sato: “Um, egscooze me. Ezzere a Starbugs aroun here?”

▼ Police Officer: “Yeah. It’s that big green sign right behind you.”
Mr. Sato:
“Ochhgh, I walgged right beshidet. Schank you bery mut.”

▼ Mr. Sato: “Coffee a deday, hodarnarll pluz!”

▼ Staff: “Ok? A hot coffee of the day… um, short right?”
“Yes, that’s right.” (We think Mr. Sato didn’t hear the staff correctly)

▼ Thanks to Pollen Blocker and my Macbook Air, I can enjoy my coffee outside with clear sinuses.

▼ Oh… Oh, wait a second…

▼ As an added bonus I combined USB Pollen Blocker with WizSpander, a Bluetooth speaker that can go around my neck.

▼ It’s like having a music dome on your head!

[ Read in Japanese ]