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.”
I’m surprised people even considered this “gamer” mask. Let alone being sold out.
Good luck convincing the mask police at businesses the vents aren’t the same as the exhaust vents on masks that everyone has been conditioned to point out isn’t good for pandemic mitigation (ie. spread your unfiltered breath to everyone).
I guess construction and related workers could opt for this due to the fan assisted airflow over traditional respirators. Is this even N95 rated by official organizations though?
The funny thing is, someone who did manage to convince people that this was an acceptable option would be able to just take the filter cartridges out, put the gratings back on, and breath unfiltered air. No one around where I live would bother to inspect. I thought it might blink red and/or screech until you put a cartridge in, but I don’t see any mechanism for that. Ironically, it might actually be superior to simple barrier masks, by however much or little, if it has separate intake and exhaust valves, which I’ve read that it does. Surely we can all agree that CO2 buildup and breathing through your own spit isn’t the best thing for us.
The end result is, regardless of whether your view on universal masking is illegal or not, it’s just better. Unless, you know, you want to talk. I woulda taken the speaker over the lighting.
Sold out already. Can’t wait for the reviews
Nothing says mug me like a $100 illuminated mask.
Just imagine how dumb a normal person would look with this thing on when even models can’t pull it off.
Just in time for when I never need to wear a mask anymore.
I remember showing my son and he was seriously considering getting one of these back when you had to wear one to go out in public.
I thought the whole point (and reason we would pay $99) is that it had a mic/speaker to boost audio? Honestly, without that, I don’t understand why the price point isn’t closer to $30. It is a hunk of plastic with fans attached to it, after all.
It was originally going to have the voice boost and a UV sanitizing case. They cut back the feature set on release to lower price and lower weight. I imagine it would’ve gone for closer to 300 if it still had those features, that’s how much will.i.am’s Xupermask costs. For 100, I was actually going to pick one up, but Razer’s site couldn’t handle the rush and it seems like scalpers or bots got the majority of them.
Looks like there might be some 3rd party N95 filters that are a similar shape on Amazon, I wonder if they’re actually a universal size.
I like the idea of this mask for long-term comfort, but I suspect it’s probably only effective if you have minimal facial hair. As someone with a large beard, this mask might not be so comfortable.
Here’s a quote from PC gamer:
“The Zephyr is lightweight, easy to put on and take off, and fits securely to your face. Even as a bearded man”
Given how hard it is to find a mask with head straps rather than ear straps, plus forced ventilation that doesn’t bypass the filters, I might actually buy one. Just hope you can turn the LEDs off.
This might be a regional thing but the only headstrap masks I could find on amazon UK were 1 ply cotton which isn’t doing much.
A bit bummed about the lack of mic/speaker setup, but still, $100 is way cheaper than what I expected it to cost. I think the back-of-the-head strap system is different than what they originally showcased, too, but that’s not a bad thing. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m seriously considering ordering one when they go on sale today.
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