Back at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Razer began converting some of their manufacturing facilities to make face masks for frontline workers. So far, they've donated over a million face masks worldwide to hospitals, governments and other healthcare organisations, but now Razer are putting their own spin on this now vital part of our lives with their Project Hazel concept. Dubbed the world's smartest face mask, Project Hazel has a clear, transparent design with a built-in voice amplifier to make it easier to talk to people around you, and it will also clean and disinfect itself via UV lights inside its special charging box. Why does a face mask need a charging box, I hear you ask? Well, it's got Razer Chroma RGBs built into it, doesn't it?
Yes, you read that correctly. RGBs in a face mask.
Don't let those rainbow circles fool you, though, as despite looking like something straight out of Metro 2033 or The Division 2, Project Hazel is kitted out with some serious anti-Covid tech. First up is its medical-grade N95 respirator (or FFTP2 for those in Europe), which blocks at least 95% of airborne particles. This standard is widely used by healthcare workers across the board, but whereas some more traditional N95 respirators can be difficult to breathe in due to their ultra-close fit and lack of ventilation, Razer have fitted Project Hazel with active detachable ventilators to help regulate airflow inside the mask.
These ventilators and the mask itself can also be disinfected simply by placing them inside its charging box. This has four UV lights inside (two at the top, one at the back and another at the front) which will sterilize everything in it while the mask is charging so you stay protected.
Project Hazel doesn't stop there, either, as it also has a built-in microphone and Razer's patent-pending VoiceAmp technology to help make your speech sound clearer and less muffled. Combine that with its clear and transparent design that actually lets you see if someone's smiling / scowling at you (which also has built-in white LEDs to illuminate your face in low light settings, I might add), and you shouldn't have to resort to large, emphatic hand gestures ever again just to say, "Please get the hell away from me."
Razer still don't have an exact price or release date yet for Project Hazel, but it will definitely be here a lot sooner than their other recently announced CES concept product, Project Brooklyn. Razer have told me they already have a working prototype up and running, but as with all of their concept ideas, they'll be making further adjustments and optimisations in the coming weeks and months to make sure it complies with all the necessary safety standards without making any compromises on comfort or usability.