Rapper Will.i.am is jumping into the smart face mask market with a $299 product.
The artist has partnered with Honeywell to create Xupermask, which goes far beyond the simple cloth face coverings people have been wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Will.i.am’s product tries to meld luxury fashion with technology.
The Bluetooth mask comes with fan-powered HEPA filters, active noise-cancellation headphones, a microphone, and LED lights on each cheek. It can run for 7 hours on a single charge, and charge back up again with a USB-C cable.
Even though COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out, Will.i.am is betting people will still want to wear face masks. “SARS happened in Japan and Southeast Asia, and they got over it, and they still wear masks,” he told The New York Times.
The mask itself was designed by Jose Fernandez, a Hollywood costume designer, who’s worked on films including Black Panther and the X-Men movies. For materials, the mask uses a silicone face seal, an elastic strap, and an athletic mesh fabric on the sides.
The Xupermask will launch Thursday, April 8. But it will be like a limited-edition sneaker drop, so grab one while you can.
PC maker Razer is also developing its own smart mask, called Project Hazel. Initially a concept project, the company has decided to ship it as an actual product. “We’ve realized 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,” Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan told Yahoo Finance.