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Razer's Project Hazel is a "Smart Mask" with Chroma RGB

By Aaron Yip - on 17 Jan 2021, 10:38am

Razer's Project Hazel is a "Smart Mask" with Chroma RGB

Note: This article was first published on 13 Jan 2021.

From the start of the pandemic, Razer has been proactive in the fight against COVID-19, including the conversion of its manufacturing facilities to produce certified medical masks and the donation of 1 million surgical face masks to the healthcare frontline under its Razer Health initiative. So, in a surprise that really shouldn't be, Razer has officially announced the multi-use Project Hazel smart mask.

During a pre-briefing last week, execs from Razer explained to me that Project Hazel addresses the increased emphasis on hygiene and crucially, the environmental issues of disposable masks - all the while enhancing the features of a multi-use personal protective covering. The smart mask is really a prelude to what we will very likely consider to be the new "normal" in a post-Covid-19 world, even with vaccinations and all. That of wearing a mask.

According to Razer, Project Hazel's mask concept design innovates with N95 medical-grade respirator protection using detachable and rechargeable active ventilators and Smart Pods that regulate airflow for optimal breathability. Its high bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) Smart Pods filter at least 95% of airborne particles and have a high fluid resistance.

The mask will also come with a clear and transparent design for improve social interaction, but crucially for security (when you go to the bank) and to allow the hard of hearing to lip read what the wearing is saying. In addition, because masks can also muffle voices, a new Razer VoiceAmp Technology uses a built-in microphone and amplifier to enhance the user’s speech for clear communication, so that you'll never have to pull your mask down.

​To reduce the waste created by disposable masks, the smart mask uses replaceable and rechargeable disc-type ventilators that can be sanitised of bacteria and viruses by placing it inside its dual-purpose wireless fast charging box with disinfecting UV-light interior. Lighting indicators will show charge levels, and the battery life should last long enough for use all-day.

There are also some other fanciful features, which I'm not convinced are practical. For instance, the mask has interior lights that activate automatically in the dark, which Razer said is to 'allow wearers to express themselves clearly regardless of the lighting conditions'. I'm not quite sure I'd want that. And then there's Chroma, which to me is a perfectly cool way to express yourself, but I reckon putting it on your mask might be taking personalisation a little too far.

Project Hazel is still a prototype concept at this stage, and Razer has said they will be putting it through rigorous testings and getting and getting user feedback to 'ensure safety compliance and maximum comfort and usability'.

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