Razer has announced it plans to manufacture and ship the concept N95 face mask it showed at CES 2021 in January. Razer has not announced a price or release plans for the mask, so far only known as Project Hazel, but CEO Min-Liang Tan said it will be coming to market in a recent interview.
“We were thinking, this is a concept project and is this going to be relevant when vaccinations and everything has been rolled out,” Tan told Yahoo Finance. “We are going to proceed in making it a reality and ship the smart mask.”
He went on to acknowledge that vaccinations are coming, but people still have to be careful and when traveling vaccinations may not be as widespread.
“We’ve realized that even with vaccinations we are hearing you still have to be masked up because there is still the risk factor that even if you’re vaccinated you still need to be incredibly careful,” he said. “Secondly, there are also many countries that are unlikely that are going to get the whole [scale] of vaccinations in the next year or even two so traveling everyone should be very careful.”
He concluded that the mask is still a viable product, because “we will all be, unfortunately, wearing masks for a long time to come.”
Project Hazel includes rechargeable active ventilators and Smart Pod filters that promise to eliminate 95% of airborne particles, and a wireless charging case that includes a UV sterilizer. It’s made of scratch-resistant and waterproof plastic, and includes an air-tight seal with cooling features. It’s clear to allow viewers to read facial expressions or to facilitate those who require lip reading. Plus it sports a microphone for amplification and a low-light mode. Of course, it also has RGB lighting.
When Razer debuted Project Hazel it said it would be putting it through “rigorous testing and user feedback to ensure safety compliance and maximum comfort and usability.” Part of that compliance includes fulfilling requirements set by government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates N95 criteria.
Razer targets many of its products toward high-end video game consumers with laptops, gaming chairs, and accessories like keyboards. It’s been a lucrative business, generating more than $1 billion in revenue last year.