Will.i.am, better known as the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman, has made many forays into the realm of technology, not all of which have been successful. However, the rapper has not been deterred by a few previous defeats. His most recent prototype is a high-tech face mask with noise-cancelling headphones and Bluetooth compatibility. It’s also far more costly than other masks, at $299.
Created through a partnership with Honeywell, the Xupermask (pronounced “Supermask”) features dual three-speed fans and HEPA filters. That’s the same setup found on LG’s equally Cyberpunk 2077-looking PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier mask.
Since Will.i.am was involved in the design of the Xupermask, it has built-in active noise-cancelling headphones for listening to music while dressing up as a Fallout character. A headset, Bluetooth 5.0, and a magnetic earbud docking kit are also included.
Taking a page from Razer’s Project Hazel, the Xupermask features LED day glow lights, but they aren’t RGB like the PC accessory maker’s product. There is also a 7-hour battery life.
Jose Fernandez, the Hollywood costume designer who worked on Black Panther, The Avengers, and X-Men 2 created the futuristic look of the Xupermask. He also designed Elon Musk’s SpaceX suits.
“For safety and high performance, the XUPERMASK is made of advanced materials such as silicone face seal and is protected by an elastic band. The versatile accessory is easily tailored to a range of face shapes and has the versatility to be worn up to 365 days a year anywhere in the world “according to the press kit
All of the technology isn’t inexpensive. When it is released on April 8, the Xupermask will cost $299 and will be available in white/grey/orange and black/black/orange colours. Each one comes with a Xuperkit, which includes a carrying bag, three months of HEPA filters, multi-size ear tips, a USB-C charging cord, and a cloth cover.
Is now the right time to unleash a costly mask, with the vaccination rollout ongoing and more states removing their mask mandates? According to Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan:
“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.”
Could you come up with something better? The US government is willing to spend up to $500,000 for new projects that fix some of the issues with existing masks.
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