Razer N95 Smart Mask: Too Ambitious?

Another day, another face mask. Although this one brings some color and smarts to your usually dreadful health accessory. Project Hazel is Razer’s take on the face mask and in true Razer fashion, it’s something any gamer or streamer would proudly wear.

Project Hazel is possibly the glossiest, most premium take on a face mask yet. Following the face lines, it has a shiny exterior made of waterproof recycled plastic (and scratch-resistant, they claim) that’s transparent enough to let others follow the user’s facial cues.

A silicon guard makes a seal around the nose and mouth and adjustable ear loops are used to accomodate any wearer. Also, the mask comes in a charging case with UV light to sanitize the mask when returned to the case.

On both sides of the mask, there are two active disc-type ventilators that filter the air that comes in and goes out, surrounded by colorful rings that can take the shade you want.

Also, in the dark, a set of LEDs turn on automatically to shine light on the area of the mouth, so others can still lip-read.

But the smarts of the face mask do not stop at RGB lighting. In fact, the most exciting feature is the ability of Project Hazel to project your voice through microphones and amplifiers embedded in the ventilators.

So now your question probably is, “what filters are used for the ventilation and filtering system and if replaced, what happens with the audio parts?”

Well, Razer envisions detachable and rechargeable ventilators that filter 95% of airborne pathogens, including COVID-19, obviously.

However, the company is not clear on the ventilators’ life and notification system to replace them when they stop being useful.

And Razer can afford to sleep on it, since this mask is in prototype phase, having not earned yet the necessary approvals and certifications from the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Therefore, there is no price or release date in sight.

For streamers, gamers and Razer fans, that could be quite the disappointment. But it’s hard to think the casual user will lose sleep over it, as investing into an over-the-top reusable mask might be the last thing they want to do right now.

After a year of wearing face masks almost everywhere, the need to return to life as we knew it is undeniable. And, with a bit of luck, the vaccination campaigns could make that return sooner rather than later.

In which case, isn’t Razer’s plans a bit too ambitious at this stage and probably too costly? Is it the best time to invest in a face mask that’s more fashion accessory than anything else or should we prepare mentally and financially for rough times, thinking twice on what to spend our money on?

Pitch in – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Razer N95 Smart Mask: Too Ambitious?
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