This new ‘smart mask’ is a glowing vision of what the future might look like

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Razer, a computer company known for its RGB lighting, announced a smart mask called ‘Project Hazel’ earlier in the year. Today that concept came out with a new name: Zephyr.

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The Razer Zephyr has two N95 filters, one on each side, and a passive filter on the bottom that I replaced by removing the magnetically attached plastic cover. It has a transparent outer cover and interior lighting to make it easier to see people’s lips. There are two-speed fans, controlled by a companion app or the power button on the right-hand chamber, and of course, some customizable exterior lights.

For the past two years, during the pandemic, most people have worn small cloth masks, and moving to bigger N95 masks – especially the bigger, premium ones like this one – feels like walking around. mad Max Immortal Joe. But that’s an upgrade Experts say that may be necessary for all To take on new forms of the coronavirus and perhaps protect against air pollution.


The company says Razer’s argument for making it “the world’s smartest mask” is stilted and corporate: “Many have suffered because of the lack of equipment to deal with this pandemic”. “We saw and acted at this opportunity to bring innovation into a space that is devoid of technology at all”.

In the real world, wearing a mask seems like a statement, more than wearing a cloth or less specific filter mask. It’s a bit like what I imagine the first supporters of Google Glass might have felt: “I know something about the future that you don’t know”. It’s hard to say if Smart Mask is more dystopian, more cyberpunk, or less in comparison to Glass.

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Zephyr feels like Razer attempted to make an entry on the ground floor, using its technological capabilities to make the mask a fashion icon (a trend that had already begun due to rampant pollution) and for the company. Created a visible ad with iconic lighting effects. If tomorrow is smart glasses and smart clothes, why not smart masks too?

I’ve never had as strong a conviction about the Smart Mask as glass wearers would, partly because of professional skepticism, but also because it’s big and heavy. Most people would rather hide the mask in a bag or rucksack when they are not wearing it, rather than wearing it inconveniently around their neck. It took me a certain amount of preparation to wear a mask that, by definition, feels unnatural.

Razer claims that the mask filters out 95 percent of particles, although there is currently no clear evidence of this on the company’s website. In contrast, a tightly woven cloth mask with at least two layers can achieve about 40 to 80 percent filtration efficiency, explained Dr. Miranda Loh, an exposure scientist and head of environmental and public health at the Institute of Occupational Medicine. Granthshala, But emphasized that “no matter how effective the mask is at filtering, if the fit is poor, the mask will not achieve a high level of protection.”

After wearing the Zephyr for a week while walking and on public transportation, it’s generally comfortable and its adjustable strap fits snugly around the head. The silicone cup is a tight, but not pressurized, seal, and realistically it makes a difference in breathing in places like the London Underground – which There have historically been “alarmingly high” levels of pollution.

In regards to other features, exterior lights are neat and can cycle between a rainbow or two of colors for a ‘breathing’ effect – but the light-up is just as eye-catching as computers and mice. thinks they are.

The interior lighting makes it easier to communicate (and hopefully a future Zephyr might have a dedicated button to activate it) and can be helpful for deaf people who have People wearing traditional masks had trouble lipreading others or reading facial cues.

Assuming that other people take it. There are a few things that might give people reservations about Zephyr—some of which are product issues, and some of which are political.

At £99.99, the Zephyr is more expensive than other masks, and a pack of 10 filters (which Razer says should be replaced every three days) is £29.99. A reusable half mask respirator, meanwhile, costs around £20, with filters costing around £8.

The mask is designed to be water resistant to small splashes, but not recommended for wet weather conditions, not ideal for the UK’s unpredictable weather; And taking off the mask while wearing glasses and wireless headphones can turn into a battle to keep everything on the head, especially for people with long hair, compared to masks that hook around the ears.

The companion app for the mask also only works if users have provided it with location tracking information – deny that permission, and it becomes unusable. A Razer spokesperson said they were unsure why the app wouldn’t work without location data, but it was likely a problem from the beta testing phase. There is no official explanation at the time of writing.

A cloth mask, despite what more outlandish conspiracy theorists might believe, cannot track you.

Then there are the issues of the ‘culture war’ surrounding the masks, which Spark happened early last year and is still going on. In July of this year, face masks were no longer made mandatory – but rather were made “in matters of personal preference”. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has urged his Conservative colleagues to wear masks in the crowded Commons Chamber, although it has been noted that some MPs have been pictured in the Commons wearing masks.

Even as the pandemic passes, it is possible that masks may be needed to fight pollution, but political debate has raged long before the coronavirus spread and will likely continue for a long time. In 2018, toxic air was considered a “national health emergency” in the UK, yet two years later, it was found that 60 per cent of…


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