Razer has a long history of using the Consumer Electronics Show to unveil concept devices that may never turn into real products. But that high-tech, reusable N95 face mask with RGB lighting the company showcased at virtual CES in January? That’s going to be a real thing you can buy.
At the start of the pandemic, Razer used some of its resources to begin manufacturing disposable face masks in Singapore. But the company also began thinking about how to make a more sustainable mask that wouldn’t be discarded after a single use. So they developed the Project Hazel concept.
Even with vaccination efforts underway, public health officials are still recommending wearing masks in many situations. And the vaccination rollout is happening more quickly in some parts of the world than others – it could be years before some countries are fully vaccinated, if ever. So it seems likely that masks will be a part of everyday life for a while.
So Razer has decided to manufacture its mask, although the company hasn’t said exactly when you’ll be able to buy one or how much it will cost.
Project Hazel masks feature a clear plastic front panel, allowing you to see more of the face of the person you’re speaking to. The ear straps are adjustable, and there’s a silicone nose and cheek rest to secure a tight, but comfortable fit on your face.
The mask also has removable, cleanable filters that offer N95 levels of protection. And the mask can be sterilized by UV light when you place it in a charging case overnight.
Wait, charging? What does this thing need power for?
Because it’s a Razer product, there are RGB LED lights that can change colors to illuminate your face while you’re in low-light settings, display battery status, or just let you customize the look of the mask.
The Project Hazel concept also features a mic and speaker system. Razer says it’s designed to let you speak without your voice sounding muffled – the company’s VoiceAmp technology will pick up your voice as you talk and then use the outward-facing speakers to amplify the sound.
It’s unclear if all of those features will be included in the final product. But this isn’t the first time Razer has manufactured a device that was first introduced as a concept. The Razer Nabu activity tracker first debuted at CES 2014 and eventually went on sale later that year… although the company only dabbled in the wearables space for a few years before ending its Nabu produce lineup.