Many have called the mask “vaporware”. The game hardware manufacturer Razer has been accused of trying to attract attention at the expense of the pandemic – without actually planning to ever actually manufacture this mask.
Project Hazel is coming
Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said in an interview with Yahoo News that Project Hazel will in fact be pursued. “We will make this smart mask a reality and deliver it.”
First there were considerations as to whether the mask would be needed at all if vaccinations progressed worldwide. “We then realized that despite being vaccinated, you still have to be very careful and wear a mask. There are also countries that are unlikely to be vaccinated for the next year or two. So when you visit these you should be careful and wear a mask. ”
So that the smart mask can be used for as long as possible, according to Min-Liang Tan, particular attention would be paid to sustainability when finalizing the product.
The reusable mask is made from recycled plastic. The built-in electronics are operated by batteries and the filters of the fans can be exchanged without having to dispose of the entire fan or even the entire mask.
When the smart mask should be sold and how much it will cost, Min-Liang Tan did not say.
Transparent, illuminated, ventilated
The Project Hazel concept is based on a mouth and nose protector made of transparent plastic. The edges are made of rubber, similar to a diving mask, to seal. There is lighting inside. If a light sensor detects that the surroundings are dark, the lighting comes on. So the other person can see the lips and thus the facial expressions better. If necessary, a microphone can also be activated so that the other person’s voice can be heard better through a small loudspeaker.
The air comes in and out of the mask through fans. These have replaceable filters. According to Razer, this achieves protection class N95. This corresponds to the standard of an FFP2 mask, which is currently mandatory in Austria. The electronics are operated with rechargeable batteries. The mask is placed in a charging cradle for charging. This also irradiates the mask with UV light when it is charged in order to disinfect it.
And because the mask is from Razer, the lighting can be adjusted individually. The colors for the light rings around the fans can be set, as well as the color for the illumination of the lips.