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Something to look forward to: Razer's Project Hazel concept mask attracted a lot of attention and curiosity at CES this year. A few months later, that turned into genuine interest when the company confirmed it really would be making the reusable N95 respirator. Now, we know when it's launching: early Q4 this year.
Being a Razer product, Project Hazel has the distinctive feature of being packed with RGB lighting. At the company's E3 event, where it announced the new AMD-powered Razer Blade 14 laptop and updated Raptor 27 gaming monitor, it gave an update on the mask.
In addition to replaceable dual N95-grade filters that last three times longer than single-use surgical masks, Hazel now comes with a redesigned secure silicon face seal. The transparent faceplate remains, allowing people to see wearers' facial expressions and thereby avoiding the communication problems that can arise from traditional masks.
One new feature is the addition of interior lighting that illuminates a user's features in dark conditions. There's also anti-fog coating the inside of the mask, and the lighting can sync with Razer's Chroma RGB tech.
Previously revealed Project Hazel features include active ventilation that brings in cool air and releases heat produced from exhaling, a wireless charging case that can also sterilize the mask using UV lights, LEDs around the pods showing charge levels, and adjustable ear loops. It can even be custom-made to fit your face shape.
Project Hazel N95 will be available in limited quantities during "early Q4" exclusively on Razer.com, so expect it sometime in October. No word yet on price. The closest example might be LG's battery-powered PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, which is $249.
We know you’ve been waiting for the Project Hazel smart mask to become a reality – we’re working on it and there’ll be news soon! Meantime, we’ve made our Project Hazel smart mask available as an Instagram AR Filter. Check out how it looks like on you: https://t.co/jGFjDnZHDU pic.twitter.com/j8bo5twjYU— R Λ Z Ξ R (@Razer) April 24, 2021
If you're curious to know what you'd look like in a Project Hazel mask, Razer has released an augmented reality filter on Instagram that puts a virtual version on your face.
With the vaccine rollout in full swing, is Q4 a good time to release what will undoubtedly be an expensive 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 said earlier this year.
"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."