Smart pandemic gear is all the rage at CES 2021, like the MaskFone, which combines a filtered mask with a Bluetooth headset. If you're guilty of making muffled phone calls, this is the 2-in-1 product for you.
Binatone's MaskFone features Bluetooth wireless earbuds and microphone, built into a mask with pockets for disposable PM2.5 or medical-grade N95 filters. At CES 2021, the company also unveiled the upcoming MegaFone, which is equipped with a detachable voice projector and "walkie talkie" mode.
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The MaskFone was born of the pandemic and is still relevant during the slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
"In the United States, I think that masks are definitely going to be commonplace for the first half of the year," said Marty Urick, a vice president at Binatone, told Tom's Guide. "If I’m going to on an airplane or subway anytime in the next year or two, I’m probably going to throw this on."
He added, "We think there’ll be a continued demand for the next several years."
Which is why the company is developing the MegaFone, which could be a great option for anyone frustrated by not speaking clearly through a mask. It comes with a detachable voice projector and mesh network capabilities, so you can pair to other MegaFones and use them as walkie-talkies.
The MaskFone's earbuds offer 12 hours of battery life, an IPX5 water-resistant rating and background noise isolation. The mask itself has adjustable ear loops and nose piece; on the outside, unobtrusive buttons control volume and play/pause. The product is sold with three N95 filters or PM2.5 filters, which are replaceable.
The mask comes in two sizes (small/medium and medium/large) and only in black, for now. Urick said other colors may be coming soon and that the company is in talks with airlines to potentially produce the MaskFone in their palettes.
The MaskFone retails starting at $49.99 and can be purchased now at maskfone.com or by the end of January on Amazon, Target.com and in select Target stores.
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.