Black Eyed Peas star and frequent tech dabbler Will.i.am has teamed up with smart home purveyor Honeywell on a new hi-tech face mask the rapper says is inspired by sneakers and smartphones.
The $299 Xupermask, which is constructed from silicon and athletic mesh fabric, does look a little bit like trainers for your face, but also includes dual-speed fans, as well as a Honeywell HEPA filtration system.
The Xupermask will compete with the concept design from PC accessory-maker Razer, who announced it is putting its design into production later this year. The Razer RGB mask features microphones and speakers for amplifying speech, but the Xupermask takes a slightly different approach.
It also contains a pair of noise-canceling headphones and the ability to connect to Bluetooth devices to take calls and listen to music. There’s LED lights and the ability to recharge the battery when not in use.
There’s no mention of medical certification, so we hope those noise-canceling headlines are good enough to justify that $299 price tag. There is a snug fit around the nose, which should at least prevent glasses from fogging up. And, for a mask, it’s pretty stylish too, thanks to the design from Hollywood’s Jose Fernandes, who worked on costumes for The Avengers and X-Men.
“We are living in sci-fi times,” Will.i.am said. He said the pandemic “is straight out of a friggin’ movie. But we are wearing masks from yesterday’s movie. So I wanted to make a mask to fit the era that we’re in.”
He reckons we’re going to be wearing masks for a long time, even after coronavirus restrictions come to an end. In an interview with the New York Times, he cites how people in some Asian countries continue to wear masks following the SARS epidemics.
Will you buy a tech-infused mask when they arrive on the scene? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.