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 The present application is a continuation-in-part of prior U.S. Design patent application No. 29/172,595 filed Dec. 16, 2002 entitled “Modular Mask”.
 The present invention relates to a protective headgear and more particularly, to a modular mask system adapted to protect people engaging in physical activities.
 A wide variety of protective head gear such as masks are available for use in activities where physical danger to the head of the user is inherent. An example of such an activity is the game of paintball where players try to hit their opponents by projecting paintballs. In order to protect the player's head, components are designed to protect various parts of the head such as the eyes, nose, forehead, cheeks and ears. These components are assembled to form a mask. However, once a mask becomes assembled, the components of the mask cannot be removed or replaced, except possibly the exact replacement of a damaged one-piece eye shield or visor by another eyepiece or visor. As a result, when a mask's protective components such as protective panels are damaged the entire mask must be replaced.
 Another disadvantage of a conventional mask is that it cannot be modified to adapt to a new environment. In the game of paintball, to reduce the chances of being spotted by an opponent, it is desirable that the player's mask provide camouflage suitable to its surrounding terrain or environment. Examples of such environments include a woodland forest, a grass covered field and a snow-covered field. Each of these terrains has colour patterns that are natural to that area. For example, in a snow-covered field, a mask with an effective camouflage comprises snow-white panels. By contrast, in a grassy field, a mask with an effective camouflage comprises green panels. In addition, different environments also have different climate conditions. As a result, masks should be able to provide suitable ventilation or insulation for its surrounding climate. For example, a mask suitable for a warmer climate can comprise panels with greater ventilation than a mask suitable for cooler climates. However, since the components of a conventional mask cannot be replaced, the conventional mask cannot be adapted to provide appropriate ventilation or camouflage in different environments. Additionally, conventional modular masks are not responsive to changing lighting conditions. Conventional clear eyepieces afford physical protection from objects only and do not enhance vision or reduce undesirable environmental factors such as very bright light, glare, etc.
 A further disadvantage of a conventional modular mask is that the components are typically created of the similar material. This prevents the panels from accommodating different functions. For example, in the game of paintball it can be preferable to use softer material in the protective side panels to resist breakage of an impacting paintball. It can also be preferable to use a material with less weight on the protective side panels to achieve a more comfortable fit. Alternatively, heavier rigid panes may be desirable to afford maximum protection for the player, for example, from the impact of physical collision or paint balls.
 It is, therefore, desirable to provide a mask having interchangeable components which can be easily added or removed for providing a mask that can readily adapt to a new environment and accommodate different functions. In this regard, the present invention substantially fulfils this need.
 It is an object of the present invention to obviate or mitigate at least one disadvantage of conventional protective headgear.
 It is even another object of the present invention to provide a double lens that comprises of specialty lenses.
 It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a double strap in the back for a more stable fit to the user's head.
 Therefore, the present invention relates to the use of a modular mask for protecting the head of a user engaged in physical activities.
 According to an embodiment of the present invention, a modular mask system comprises: a frame for fitting over the user's head; and a set of interchangeable mask components removably attachable to the frame, the set of interchangeable mask components comprising a plurality of one of: a top panel, a side panel assembly, an eyepiece and a nosepiece.
 According to an aspect of the present invention, a modular mask system comprises of a pair of protective side panels, a frontal panel and a nose panel, whereby each panel consists of small openings that engage and disengage with the main skeleton's “C” channel and finger via a snap in or snap out movement.
 Typically, the protective side panels cover and protect wearer's cheeks, the top protective piece covers the forehead and a nosepiece covers the nose and mouth region of the wearer's face. In addition, an eyepiece comprising of dual lenses can be attached to the frame to protect the eyes. The components of the mask can be made of different materials to accommodate different functions. For example, it may be desirable to use soft material in the protective side panels to resist breakage of an impacting paintball. It can also be advantageous to have camouflage patterned panels including, for example, combat style forest camouflage or uniform colours such as black or white in order to allow the user to hide more effectively or blend into a given environment or terrain.
 Advantageously, the modular mask system of the present invention enables the wearer to adapt to different environmental conditions and activities.
 Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the attached Figures, wherein:
 Generally, the present invention provides a modular mask system. The modular mask system of the present invention can be used to protect the head of a user engaged in physical activities such as the game of paint ball, hockey, lacrosse, cycling, motorcycling including the sport of motocross, skiing and any other activity where the use of protective head gear is desirable. In addition, the present invention can be used for military purposes, such as training, reconnaissance, rescue and combat. Although the present invention is primarily intended for use by a person, the modular mask system can be used by non-humans such as animals.
 Referring to
 The top panel
 Referring to
 Preferably, the eyepiece fits over the front of frame so that it resists contact with the wearer's face and eyes if it is subjected to an impact. Integrally formed wings at the ends of the eyepiece are received in recesses in the frame. Preferably the walls of the recesses are channeled to receive the wings in a tongue and groove (or pocket) manner. Alternatively, as shown in
 Side panels
 A wearer can also switch between different panels in order to accommodate the demands of different activities or simply to achieve greater comfort. For example,
 Alternatively, as shown if
 Attachment of the components such as the top and side panels to the frame is easily achieved by a simple snap in movement. Detachment of the panels from the frame is achieved by a simple snap out movement. This design allows the user to easily and quickly attach and detach parts from the mask to replace damaged components (including the frame), to adapt to different environmental conditions such as terrain and weather, to better suit a different activity such as motor cross or slam skiing and to adopt a different “skin” or visual appearance (for example to appear more menacing or to identify the wearer as a member of a team or to distinguish the wearer as a matter of style). In addition, greater customization can be effected by the wearer to improve ergonomic factors or functionality.
 The attachment mechanism of the modular mask comprises a strapping system provided at the back of the mask. Either a single strap or a double strap can be used.
 The bridge and straps fit over the wearer's head, for example, the occiput to ensure a comfortable fit without undesirable movement or slipping of the mask. The strapping system can be adjusted using the buckles of the bridge.
 Alternatively, the a single strapping system can be used where a single strap is replaces the upper and lower straps.
 The above-described embodiments of the present invention are intended to be examples only. Alterations, modifications and variations may be effected to the particular embodiments by those of skill in the art without departing from the scope of the invention, which is defined solely by the claims appended hereto.