CES 2021: Is this the world’s smartest face mask?

Gaming company Razer has made what they claim is world’s smartest face mask – complete with a built-in microphone.

The prototype, revealed at the tech convention CES, claims to amplify the users’ voice – to prevent muffled speech. 

The design includes active ventilation – exhaling warmer exhaled air whilst pulling in cooler air.

The company says the mask is classified as an N95 surgical mask, however the BBC has not reviewed the product. 

Razer mask
image captionThe mask is a concept for now and is not going on sale at this time

The mask itself is made of transparent plastic, making it easier for people to lip read and pick up on facial cues. 

A transparent mask is hardly an innovation itself – there are plenty on the market. However the company says the mask also has a “low light mode”. 

That means the mask’s interior lights up automatically when dark – illuminating your mouth. Razer claims this allows you to “express yourself clearly regardless of the lighting conditions”. 

Razer mask
image captionLights in the mask can illuminate the wearer’s mouth

Is it comfortable to wear with all that tech inside? Well, the BBC’s tech team hasn’t tried it out. 

But Razer says a silicon fitting around the face keeps is comfortable – and stops the mask itself from touching or resting on your mouth. 

It also says thicker ear loops apply less pressure on your ears. 

The mask’s patented “voiceamp” feature is arguably the most technologically advanced aspect of the mask. 

The company says the built-in mic and amplifier will make your voice clearer.

Muffled speech can be a particular problem with traditional nose and mouth coverings. 

This is a concept product – it’s not currently for sale. The BBC has reached out to Razer, and has yet to receive a response. 

However speaking to The Verge technology website, the company said the ventilators’ longevity is still being tested, along with when the filters need to be changed.

Other companies to have unveiled eye-catching concept products at this year’s CES expo include:

  • a Cadillac-branded Vertical Take-off and Landing electric vehicle from General Motors
  • a toilet that analyses your poo to make dietary recommendations from Toto
  • a tablet display that rolls up into a scroll from TCL
Cadillac-branded Vertical Take-off and Landing Concept
image captionGM’s chief executive said the firm was exploring aerial taxis among other vehicles-of-the-future
Toto Wellness toilet
image captionToto’s Wellness toilet analyses the user’s skin temperature and faecal waste to make recommendations
TCL Scroll
image captionTCL’s 17in OLED scrolling display is designed to make it easier to carry about a large screen

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