It is CES 2021 – the first-ever virtual avatar of the biggest tech event to kickstart 2021 and while most of us are excited by the influx of smart tech to improve our day to day life with the various gadgets, how can tech not handle the biggest question here – how does the newest technology affect/improve our covid infested world? 2021 promises to be the year of solutions, with vaccines rolling out with speed, while realistically, we know that face masks aren’t going anywhere. Razer, the world’s leading lifestyle accessories brand for gamers takes a dip in the face mask world with the ‘world’s smartest mask’ concept named the Project Hazel.
The face mask design is a glossy, waterproof, and scratch-resistant shell, transparent by design to allow for lip-reading, and made from recycled plastic. So far so good. The main attraction are the two circular ‘Active Ventilation’ discs that sit on the sides of your mouth and hold the reusable N95 filters that give a 95% filtration efficiency. These filters are detachable and rechargeable while giving the mask a futuristic aesthetic that goes to match the gaming setup you have with Chroma RGB LEDs. After all, every Instagram worthy gaming setup is in visual sync with each other, why should your mask not be a part of the new normal? While the public is torn between ‘take my money now’ and calling this an ‘April fools joke’ the RGB has surely caught the public’s attention. Jokes aside, if this is a feature that helps people keep their mask ‘on’ wherever they are, I am all for it. The rings can glow with the color of your choice and the LEDs automatically detect and light up in a low light setting to illuminate your face so you can always be seen talking. How helpful is this feature, that is something we will know only once we actually try it but it does sound good in theory!
To add to the futuristic appeal of this mask, microphones and amplifiers are embedded in the ventilators that will project your voice through the mask (I wonder if I can tweak that to sound like Bane, or even say I’m Batman with credibility!). Currently, the team at Razer is working with THX sound engineers to balance the volume for optimal accessibility. Despite the tech it holds, Razer claims the mask to have a comfortable wearing experience – using a silicon guard to create a seal around your mouth and nose. The mask also boasts of adjustable ear loops to help with various face sizes. The mask is accompanied by an equally glossy and desktop-worthy wireless charging case that uses UV light to sterilize the mask while a mini display showcases icons – what they depict is unclear as of now.
Razer’s history of displaying awesome conceptual works at CES which then convert into reality gives us hope that this mask may come to life – given more tweaks and certifications from the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The mask is currently made for the masses, with no size variations or even allowances for a beard. Razer was one of the few companies worldwide that converted their manufacturing plants for the creation of surgical masks and wanting to pledge and donate up to a million surgical masks. So cross your fingers and hope that a realistic and inexpensive version of this mask is coming soon – after all, we all have cotton masks, but I’m quite sure, a more functional and aesthetic mask is something we can all do with.
Designer: Charlie Bolton of Razer
Transparent Design – Enjoy more seamless social interaction with others as they’ll be able to see you speak and pick up on your facial cues easily.
Low Light Mode – The smart mask’s interior lights up automatically when it’s dark, allowing you to express yourself clearly regardless of the lighting conditions.
Surgical N95 Respirator – In addition to its high bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE), the mask also has a high fluid resistance which protects against large droplets and splashes.
Active Ventilation – The smart mask’s detachable ventilator regulates airflow and is capable of filtering at least 95% of airborne particles.
Voicecamp Technology – Thanks to a built-in mic and amplifier combo, their patent-pending technology ensures your speech isn’t muffled even when you’re masked up.
Optimized Airflow – Its active ventilation brings in cool air and releases heat produced from exhaling, which also prevents a build-up of CO2 in the mask that can cause headaches and dizziness.
Wireless Charging Case with UV Sterilizer – With a dual-purpose fast charger that sterilizes at the same time, the smart mask is always ready to go. Glows from red to green for easy reference when checking battery level.