In addition to announcing their brand-new Blade 14 laptop last night, Razer also used their E3 2021 presser to give us an update on their Project Hazel smart face mask, which was first announced earlier in the year at CES. After listening to community feedback, Razer have added some new features to their upcoming N95 respirator, including a new anti-fog coating and, my favourite, interior RGB lighting. Oh yes, folks. It's CHROMA TIME.
The serious line on this addition is, of course, to make it easier to see what you're saying in low-lighting conditions, as the mask itself is see-through. The filters already had RGB rings around them, but as the bloke modelling the latest concept mask up the top there shows, you can now have RGBs beamed into your mouth as well. It's a great idea, but I can't help but chuckle at the over-the-top 'gamer' implementation of it. Surely, having a green mouth is going to have the opposite effect, as people won't be listening to what you're saying - they'll be staring, transfixed at your rainbow-illuminated chops.
Still, interior RGB lights aside, I can definitely get behind the new anti-fog coating, and it's also going to have a secure silicon face seal, too, according to Razer, which wasn't part of the original design. They also said they're going to make sure that every mask is lab-tested to meet the same BFE (or 'bacterial filtration effciency') rating as the regular surgical masks they've been making over the last year, too.
Other Project Hazel features have remained the same. It's still going to be using replacable N95 grade filters, and as mentioned, they're keeping the clear, see-through design, too.
The launch of Project Hazel is still some months away yet. Razer said they're currently aiming for "an early Q4" launch at the end of the year, so it's probably going to be sometime in October or November. Likewise, because of the, and I quote, "insane demand" for it, masks will be arriving in batches as and when they come in from the factory. Those who want to buy one will need to sign up on Razer's website, and they'll be put in a big virtual queue. When you reach the top and masks are available, you'll receive an email. We still don't know how much they're going to cost, though, but hopefully we'll get another update closer to launch.
In the meantime, you can currently hop over to Razer's Instagram page and try out their new Project Hazel AR filter if you want to get a sneak peek of how it's going to look (as modelled by my good self over on the right). Alas, the filter only lets you switch between the black and white versions of the mask, and doesn't simulate its new interior RGB lighting effect. Gosh darnit, I was looking forward to goofing out with my new green mouth, Razer, why must you disappoint me so?
E3 2021 may be over but our memories live on - see everything on our E3 hub. Many more big game showcases and streams are still to come this summer, leading up to Gamescom, so see our summer games stream schedule to stay up to date.