Razer, the global gaming giant, had unveiled the world’s smartest, most socially-friendly, and reusable N95 concept mask called “Project Hazel” at the CES 2021 in January this year.
Now, the Irvine-based company has announced its plans to manufacture and ship the concept N95 face mask.
“We were thinking, this is a concept project and is this going to be relevant when vaccinations and everything has been rolled out,” said Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan while speaking in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “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.”
Tan explains that Project Hazel has been envisioned to continue serving people considering that mask-wearing will likely continue, despite global vaccination projects and even after the COVID-19 pandemic is actually over.
“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,” Tan added.
“So with that in mind, we are going to go ahead and solve the sustainable aspect of the mask which is one of the big things for us. Project Hazel is going to be a reality. We are going to make it happen and I think we will all will be, unfortunately, wearing masks for a long time to come.”
During the initial announcement of Project Hazel in January, Razer had said that the smart mask comes with a glossy exterior and is made of waterproof, scratch-resistant, and recyclable plastic to greatly minimize wastage as compared to disposable masks. It has a clear, transparent design that helps in lip reading and understanding expressions while talking to people, as well as maintain more seamless social interaction with others.
Further, the smart mask’s interior lights up automatically when it’s dark, allowing you to express yourself clearly regardless of the lighting conditions. Thanks to a new Razer VoiceAmp technology (patent pending) which uses a built-in microphone and amplifier combo that can amplify your voice, and (of course) RGB lighting on the sides.
Razer’s Project Hazel also features an N95 medical-grade respirator. The smart mask’s detachable ventilator regulates airflow and is capable of filtering at least 95% of airborne particles.
Besides its high bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE), the mask also a high fluid resistance which protects against large droplets and splashes. The mask’s BFE rating can easily be maintained by swapping in new filters into the ventilators, which have long-lasting battery life for all-day use.
Project Hazel comes with a special charging case lined with a UV light interior, which kills bacteria and viruses as the mask charges. With a dual-purpose fast charger that sterilizes at the same time, the smart mask is always ready to go. It glows from red to green for easy reference when checking battery level.
The smart mask’s active ventilation brings in cool air and releases heat produced from exhaling, which also prevents a build-up of CO2 in the mask that can cause headaches and dizziness.
Further, the silicon guard sits snugly around your face to prevent air from leaking in and keeps the mask itself from touching or resting on your mouth so you can talk naturally. Also, the thicker ear loops apply less pressure on your ears and can be adjusted for a more secure fit, while the mask can be custom-made to fit your face shape.
The company has not given any information about pricing or possible release date for customers to go out and purchase.
Since Project Hazel is in the development phase, Razer needs to get approval from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make it a real product.