Razer introduced Project Hazel, the world's first smart mask, at CES 2021. The snazzy, high-tech face covering garnered widespread interest. It was just a concept then, but now, Project Hazel is poised to hit the production stage (via Yahoo Finance).
The crowd went wild for Project Hazel because it addressed many issues that mask wearers suffer from, including self-fogging, muffled conversations, and concerns about their effectiveness in thwarting COVID-19.
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Razer's high-tech smart mask: from prototype to production
When we reported on Project Hazel in early January as CES 2021 swept the tech world, Razer couldn't move forward with the concept at the time. The gaming-hardware giant needed the green light from health regulators like the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration before it could progress.
Razer was also reportedly working with a team of scientists and medical professionals to ensure that Project Hazel is a medically sound, top-of-the-line smart mask that meets important health standards.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Razer unveiled some juicy news about Project Hazel: it's no longer a conceptual prototype — the world's first smart mask will be hitting the production stage in the near future.
"We were thinking, 'This is a concept project. Is this going to be relevant when vaccinations and everything has been rolled out?' I think moving forward we decided — and I can tell you now — we are going to proceed in making it a reality and ship the smart mask," Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan told Yahoo Finance.
Although vaccinations are rolling out to the public and more people are getting pricked to protect themselves from COVID-19 exposure, Razer believes that masks aren't going anywhere.
"We've realized that even with vaccinations, we are hearing you still have to be masked up because there is still the risk factor that even if you're vaccinated you still need to be incredibly careful," Tan said. "I think we will all be, unfortunately, wearing masks for a long time to come."
Project Hazel features
Project Hazel looks like a see-through, futuristic gas mask with two disc-like ventilators that flank your mouth. Razer claims that these ventilators filter the air that you breathe in as well as the CO2 that you exhale. Project Hazel will reportedly filter 95% of airborne particles, including COVID-19 pathogens.
The ventilators, by the way, can be detached and recharged. Project Hazel will likely come with a large charging case that sterilizes the smart mask with UV light while it's not in use.
Masks also have a tendency to stifle conversations, but with a new technology called VoiceAmp, Razer will implement a built-in microphone and amplifier to increase the volume of users' voices. This way, users won't feel compelled to yank down their masks to produce understandable speech.
Razer says that Project Hazel will be a comfortable mask that properly covers your nose, mouth and chin. It will have adjustable ear loops so that users can find their best fit. Of course, since Razer is a company known for its gaming laptops, Project Hazel will support Chroma RGB LEDs. The ventilators will feature rings of LEDs that can glow in the color of users' choosing.
Even as dystopia unfolds before our very eyes, we can still look stylish in our post-pandemic world with Razer's smart mask. We can't wait to see whether Project Hazel disrupts the mask industry and introduces a new, high-tech way of staying safe as COVID-19 continues to ravage the world.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!