In brief: Razer is one of the many companies that chipped in to help during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic by producing masks for those that needed them most. Now, the company is doing so again, but this time with a distinctive Razer flair: meet Project Hazel, a CES concept N95 respirator with a clear plastic shell, RGB lighting, and dual filters.
Unlike Project Brooklyn, it sounds like Hazel is destined to become an actual product. Razer is already working with a team of medical experts and scientists to ensure the mask meets modern Covid-19 protection standards, and it looks like the company actually has a proper prototype on hand.
So, what's different about Hazel? How does it stack up to other N95 respirators on the market? Aside from the Chroma RGB lighting support, Hazel's dual filters use "Active ventilation" to filter air that's being breathed in and out, blocking 95 percent of harmful particles – including Covid-19.
These filters can be detached, replaced, and recharged at will. Razer is even working on a special charging case with a "UV light interior," capable of killing any bacteria and viruses that might be coating the mask.
As noted before, Project Hazel also has a large, clear-plastic faceplate that lets others see your mouth and nose without being exposed to them. Since most masks are opaque, this could be a nice feature for those who want to be a bit more expressive. At night or in other darker environments, Hazel's built-in RGB lighting can shine on your face and make it a bit easier to see.
Hazel also aims to tackle one of the other minor annoyances facing the mask-wearing public today: voice muffling. When attempting to speak through a traditional N95 respirator, or even a cloth mask, it's sometimes necessary to repeat yourself a few times so you can be understood clearly.
Razer hopes to address this issue by including what it calls "voiceamp" technology. Hazel features a built-in mic and amplifier combo, which can boost the volume and clarity of your voice even with the airtight mask strapped to your face.
We don't know when Project Hazel will come to market, nor do we know what it's official name will be or how much it will cost. It certainly features a lot of cool ideas, though, so we hope it begins shipping out sooner rather than later (and ideally at an affordable price).