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CES 2021: Razer just unveiled the world's first smart mask — but there's a catch

Project Hazel
(Image credit: Razer)

Get excited, people! Razer has just announced its plans to release the world's first smart mask. The gaming-hardware tech giant calls it "Project Hazel." It's an N95 respirator with a glossy, waterproof, stain-resistant shell. It's also transparent, which allows others to lip read your words while you speak.

What's most eye-catching about Project Hazel is that incorporates Razer's signature design elements, including Chroma RGB LEDs. This lighting feature can be personalized to the users' taste, offering 16.8 million colors and a cornucopia of lighting effects. People may poke fun at you for looking like an executioner at a disco, but at least you'll be evading COVID-19 in style.

Project Hazel: The world's first badass smart mask

The lighting can be found around the rechargeable and replaceable disc-type ventilators that can be conveniently sanitized of bacteria and viruses. How? Well, Razer plans to ship this smart mask with a wireless, fast-charging case that doubles as a mini disinfecting station. 

Project Hazel

(Image credit: Razer)

Besides showing off your personal style, the LEDs are also status indicators, which can notify you about the mask's charge levels. There is also internal lighting to make your mouth more visible in low-light settings. Razer claims that the mask features a high bacterial efficiency (BFE) filter that impedes 95% of airborne particles. The mask also boasts high-fluid resistance. 

Masks also have a tendency to muffle voices, but with Project Hazel, Razer is introducing a new technology called VoiceAmp, which uses a built-in microphone and amplifier to augment the user's speech for clear, understandable speech while staying safe in our pandemic-affected world.

Project Hazel

Project Hazel's wireless fast charging case (Image credit: Razer)

So you may be wondering, "This smart mask sounds awesome! How do I get one?" Well, that's the catch. Project Hazel is just a concept for now. There's no price or release date yet. In addition, Razer hasn't yet received the green light from health-protection agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

According to The Verge, Razer is currently working with a team of scientists and medical professionals to help develop Project Hazel into a top-of-the-line, medical-grade smart mask that meets the company's vision.

Outlook

Razer is smartly diving into an untapped market: smart masks. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many states have mandated that residents must wear masks in social settings. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still raging throughout many communities, and as a result, mask wearing has become a part of our everyday lives.

As such, Razer is addressing all the issues we have with our masks: sanitization, muffled voices, poor breathability and discomfort. Project Hazel is just a concept for now, but when it does hit the market, I'll be the first in line to snag the world's first smart mask.