Razer embraces a cyberpunk aesthetic with smart mask concept
Gaming brand Razer looks to the future of face masks with its CES 2021 announcement of Project Hazel, a reusable transparent mask with detachable filters, a built-in mic and amplifier, and Chroma RGB LED lights for those keen on embracing some cyberpunk techno flair.
Alongside its more conventional CES announcements, including new laptops and a unique gaming chair, Razer revealed a novel smart mask concept. The idea arose from the company noticing the environmental issues growing around the accumulating waste from single-use face masks.
Project Hazel is designed to present a stylish reusable face mask with rechargeable and removable ventilators. New filters can be slipped into the ventilator cartridges and the entire device is designed to come with a wireless charging case. UV lights embedded into the charging case promise to sterilize the mask when charging, and the company suggests a single charge should be enough to get a full day of use out of the device.
Speakers are fitted onto the two ventilators, and an internal microphone is built in to amplify the wearer’s voice. The majority of the mask is also transparent, so these design elements are all working to help the wearer easily communicate with others.
The whole thing wouldn’t be a Razer product without some superfluous LED lights and Project Hazel is no exception. Chroma RGB LEDs, capable of producing 16.8 million different colors, will allow wearers customizable lighting effects.
“Razer acknowledges the uncertainty in the road ahead, and so it was our duty to help protect our community members and prepare them from invisible threats,” says Razer’s CEO, Min-Liang Tan. “The Project Hazel smart mask concept is intended to be functional, yet comfortable and useful for interacting with the world, while maintaining a sociable aesthetic.”
Project Hazel certainly isn't the first tech-infused face mask to arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. LG’s PuriCare Wearable Air Mask, unveiled last August, is already on sale in some international markets, although its bulky design already looks like ancient technology compared to Razer’s sleek concept.
Razer is yet to announce if or when Project Hazel will be available to consumers. Its announcement does seem to contain images of a working prototype so at the very least this concept is more advanced than a series of abstract renders but testing and certification will inevitably be necessary before it reaches the market.