Gaming hardware maker Razer is now selling a high-tech face mask. The Razer Zephyr face mask is now available for $100.
Razer says the mask is designed to solve some of the problems associated with cloth and disposable masks. Razer says it’s designed to be comfortable to wear. Over time it produces less waste than disposable masks. And it’s got a clear panel that lets you see facial expressions or even lip-read when someone is masked up.
Because this is a Razer device, there’s also a set of RGB LED lights that serve multiple purposes. The internal lights can illuminate your face at night. And external lights around the filters allow you to customize the look of the device thanks to Razer’s Chroma lighting effects. You can pair the face mask with a mobile app to control lighting zones independently of one another.
First unveiled as a concept during the Consumer Electronics Show in January, when the mask was known by the code-name Project Hazel, Razer later announced it would actually bring the mask to market as a consumer product, eventually promising a Q4, 2021 release.
Now that it’s here, Razer says its Zephyr face face mask is also designed with comfort and sustainability in mind.
It has a soft silicone face seal and dual straps that go behind your head, no ear-straps required. There are also dual air intake fans that can spin at 4200 RPM and 6200RPM speeds, allowing you to increase air flow when you’re running or doing other activities that may increase your respiration.
Zephyr has a one-size-fits-all design, so the head straps are adjustable.
The mask uses replaceable N95-grade filters, and Razer says a set of filters should be good for 3 days of usage. You can buy a 30-day supply (10 filters) for $30 or save some money by picking up a Zephyr & 33-pack of filters for $150 for a 99-day supply.
Razer notes that you can probably extend the lifespan of those filters if you’re not using them every day. It’s not like they’ll instantly go bad if you use them for one day and then don’t touch them for two, although the company notes that you may want to replace them sooner if exposed to “high-risk environments” such as “enclosed locations with possible harmful particles.”
And the company says since those filters are smaller and last longer than a disposable mask, using a Razer Zephyr cuts down on waste over time (although the up-front environment costs of face mask that involves electronic components, a battery, spinning fans, and LED lights is obviously a bit higher than for a typical face mask).
Despite all that gear, the mask weighs less than half a pound and the battery can last for up to 8 hours on a charge (with the fan set to low and the LED lights disabled). You can also disable the fans if you’d like. You should still be able to breathe, but Razer says the Zephyr mask is more comfortable with them on, thanks to improved air circulation and cooling.
Razer says in addition to disposing of used filters every three days or so, you can maintain the mask by detaching the silicone face guard and straps and washing them gently with soap and water. The company recommends wiping exterior surfaces with a damp cloth, while avoiding wiping the inner plastic which has an anti-fog layer designed to prevent condensation build-up.
The mask is also splash-proof, but not fully waterproof, so you might want to think twice about wearing it in the rain.
One feature that Razer had initially teased hasn’t made the final cut: the Zephyr face mask does not include a voice amplifier. Razer says skipping the voice amp allowed the company to give the face mask longer battery life and make it more comfortable to wear.
Razer also notes that while the mask has a 99% bacterial filtration rating, meaning it “offers the same functionality and adequate protection” as an N95 mask, it’s not a medical device, hasn’t been “tested specifically against the COVID-19 virus,” and “is not meant to be used in medical or clinical settings.”