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Recap: Remember Razer's Project Hazel, its reusable N95 mask unveiled at CES back in January? It was still in the concept prototype stage back then. Now, the PC gaming giant has confirmed it really is making the pandemic-age product.
Project Hazel has several features that differentiate it from most N95 respirators on the market, the most obvious being the transparent-plastic front that allows people to see a wearer's face. Covid-19 has revealed the problems that come with being unable to see others' expressions—eyes alone don't always show what a person is thinking—but Razer's mask conceals no emotions.
Razer previously said it was working with a team of medical experts and scientists to ensure Project Hazel meets modern Covid-19 protection standards.
Another problem with traditional masks is not being able to hear the muffled words spoken by wearers. Razer's innovative solution is its "voiceamp" tech, which consists of embedded microphones that amplify and enhance voices, with the ventilators doubling as speakers.
This wouldn't be a Razer product without Chroma RGB lighting, allowing the ventilators to glow. It can even shine light on a wearer's face when it's dark, so the people you're talking to can still see you speaking. Razer also said the mask is comfortable to wear, thanks to its ear loops.
With the vaccine rollout gathering pace, is this a good time to release a new N95 mask? Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan thinks so.
"We've realised that even with vaccinations, we are hearing you still have to be masked up because there is still the risk factor that even if you're vaccinated, you still need to be incredibly careful. Secondly, there are also many countries that are unlikely that are going to get the whole [scale] of vaccinations in the next year or even two, so traveling everyone should be very careful," he told Yahoo News.
"So with that in mind, we are going to go ahead and solve the sustainable aspect of the mask, which is one of the big things for us. Project Hazel is going to be a reality. We are going to make it happen, and I think we will all will be, unfortunately, wearing masks for a long time to come."
No word on the price or release date, and as noted by The Verge, Razer must still secure approval and certification from the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration.