Gaming hardware maker Razer is showing off two concept products this week. Project Brooklyn is the most advanced gaming chair you’ve ever seen — it has a retractable 60-inch panoramic OLED display that floats in front of you when you want it and hides away when you don’t. The other concept is Project Hazel, a lifestyle device designed for the modern world: a smart mask that may help protect you and others from spreading COVID-19 and other diseases using a bit more tech than a simple cloth or disposable mask.
Razer says it wanted to incorporate modern technology including roll-up displays, foldable displays, and haptics.
In addition to the built-in retractable display, this gaming chair features haptic vibration that can respond to audio and RGB lighting on the sides and base of the chair that can respond to in-game events and/or let users customize the look of the chair.
For comfort, it features a leather-lined carbon fiber bucket seat. And there’s an expandable tray that hides inside the arm when you’re not using it, but spans both arms when you want to use a tray.
Since this is a concept device that probably won’t ever be released, Razer isn’t talking pricing or availability. But the company has built a working prototype to demonstrate that it’s at least possible to offer something like Project Brooklyn.
Honestly, this concept device may be a little less exciting to gamers, but it seems a lot more practical. It’s a clear plastic mask with changeable, cleanable filters that offer N95 respirator functions.
Razer says that unlike disposable, or even cloth masks, the Project Hazel mask can be cleaned over and over again without degradation. It comes with a case that can automatically sterilize the mask overnight.
And since the front is transparent, people can see your facial expressions as you speak and folks who are hard of hearing will be able to see your lips. The mask is adjustable with a silicone nose and cheek rest for comfort and ear straps that can be adjusted to fit your face.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg with this particular mask. It also features Razer’s patent-pending VoiceAmp technology with a mic and speaker system to detect your voice as you speak and then project your voice outward using speakers. Theoretically this prevents you from sounding muffled as you speak through a mask, but I’d be curious to know whether it also makes you sound like you’re speaking through a bullhorn.
There are also RGB LED lights because of course there are. But in addition to letting you customize the look of the mask, they serve a purpose. They can offer battery status alerts, for example, and they can be used to offer subtle lighting in low-light conditions so that people can see your face through your mask even at night.
Again, there’s no word on a price or release date, but if I had to put money on one of these two concept devices becoming a real product in the near future, I’d probably pick Project Hazel.
Razer has a habit of using the annual Consumer Electronics Show to show off some pretty out-there concept devices. Sometimes they even come to market as real devices. Often, they do not. But the fact that the company has invested the time and effort into creating working prototypes either means that someone’s got too much time on their hands or that it’s at least possible some of these technologies could be incorporated into products you might be able to buy one day.