Razer used a part of its manufacturing line last year to produce face masks to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. After donating over a million of them, the company at CES 2021 announced an ambitious concept to take face masks to the next, absurd level.
Called Project Hazel, Razer showcased an N95 mask that, well, perfectly encapsulates Razer as a brand. That means it obviously was equipped with RGB lighting not to mention a glossy waterproof and scratch-resistant plastic shell. The mask was also said to be the “world’s smartest face mask,” featuring detachable and rechargeable active ventilators and high bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) Smart Pods to regulate airflow. But the company said it was just a concept product, and we didn’t have any expectations it would ever hit the market.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance, though, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan now says that the company is focusing on making its concept RGB-lit mask into a real product. The company had set up Singapore’s first mask-making facility within 24 days. At the same time, the company realized the challenges with sustainability, which is obviously not the case with disposable masks. Project Hazel was envisioned to continue serving us long after the COVID-19 pandemic is effectively over, which is becoming closer and closer as vaccinations continue to be distributed.
“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. 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. Secondly, there are also many countries that are unlikely that are going to get the whole [scale] of vaccinations in the next year or even two so traveling everyone should be very careful,” said Tan.
During the initial announcement of the project, Razer pointed out that since it has a transparent design, it will help address the issue of picking up nonverbal cues. Since the face mask comes with interior lighting, it can light up in a dark environment. Other notable features include VoiceAmp Technology, which uses a built-in microphone and amplifier to enhance the user’s voice, active air cooling and regulation, an air-tight seal from its adjustable ear loops, and a fast wireless charging box that can also sanitize the mask with disinfecting UV light. Let’s hope Razer also includes the ability to sync the RGB lighting to your PC and peripherals with its Chroma RGB software.