You’ll soon be able to buy an Amazon-made face shield on the company’s site thanks to Amazon’s Prime air team switching to producing medical-grade face shields.
The drone delivery team has been working on producing and 3D printing face shields since March to donate to front-line health care workers. In a blog published on Thursday, May 14, Amazon announced that these National Institutes of Health-approved face shields would be made available to the public for purchase on the retail giant’s website.
The face shields will be made available to health care workers first and will eventually become available to all Amazon customers.
Amazon said the face shields would be listed at a lower price at almost a third of the market cost.
“Putting our scale to use for good, we repurposed our manufacturing facilities and are working with outside vendors to produce these new face shields quickly, and at a fraction of the cost,” wrote Brad Porter, vice president and distinguished engineer of robotics at Amazon, in the blog. “An example of this is how we’re using a machine that ordinarily cuts fiber materials to manufacture drones but is now being used to cut screens for the face shields.”
These Amazon-made face shields have already been donated to health care workers around the country. Amazon said they have so far given 10,000 shields and are on track to donate 20,000 more.
An Amazon spokesperson told Digital Trends that hundreds of thousands of face shields will be made available within the next few weeks online.
Amazon already has a coronavirus supply store set up within its online marketplace with items such as thermometers, hand sanitizers, gloves, and more for sale. However, these items are only available to organizations on the front line of the pandemic and not open to regular customers.
Since the coronavirus outbreak escalated in March, Prime customers have had to deal with a longer wait on their nonessential purchases. However, Amazon said earlier this week that they had done away with those shipping restrictions, which means that customers will soon see one- or two-day shipping options once more.