Razer’s Project Hazel was designed to produce a reusable mask for protecting users from Covid-19. The prototype was unveiled at CES earlier in 2021 and caused quite a stir. Razer told Yahoo News that it now plans to put the device into production and is inviting interested potential purchasers to register on its website (opens in new tab) for a notification when it launches.
Razer’s final product will include replaceable ventilators that contain batteries to maintain airflow. It will also have replaceable filtration and a charging case fitted with a UV light to kill bacteria and viruses on the mask.
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Also worth mentioning is the voice transmission aspect of the mask. The front is clear, giving people the option to read your lips. and it features a microphone and speakers to enable people to hear what you’re saying. This is actually quite fantastic, as wearing a mask can significantly reduce audibility.
Having that clear front panel will also help convey intent. It’s hard to judge what someone is saying without being able to see their face, so this mask goes a long way to helping reduce that problem.
A mask like this would be a significant improvement for anyone who wears glasses. The frustration of attempting to read food packets in a store while your fog up your spectacles is something that many have experienced.
One thing that is a little unclear from the Razer’s Project Hazel specs so far is just how much protection the mask offers other people. Ventilated N95 masks do not prevent viral particles from being spread (opens in new tab) and are significantly worse than a simple cloth mask for preventing transmission. However, Razer claims its ventilation is filtered, which could mean it’s as capable of blocking particles as any surgical grade mask.
No pricing is currently available for the Razer’s Project Hazel but we expect it will be premium. Even so, if mask wearing is going to be a part of life from now on it’s likely some people would rather spend a few bucks getting something that’s actually comfortable, practical and well-designed.
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