The coronavirus pandemic has made wearing a face mask or face covering the new normal. As a result of this, we have seen a number of companies and individuals attempt to improve on the basic face mask design. These include designs range from simple transparent masks to large and bulky half-body hazmat suits.
Now, a Japanese startup called Donut Robotics has thrown their hat into the ring and designed its very own ‘smart mask’, dubbed the C-mask, which has a few interesting features. Possibly the most unique feature about the C-mask is the fact that it has Bluetooth and can connect to the internet, allowing the wearer to quickly and easily send messages and translate from Japanese into eight other languages.
“We worked hard for years to develop a robot and we have used that technology to create a product that responds to how the coronavirus has reshaped society,” said Taisuke Ono, chief executive of Donut Robotics to Reuters.
The C-mask outer shell, which contains all the necessary tech, fits over any regular mask and connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth which then allows the user to make calls, transcribe speech into text messages, or amplify the mask wearer’s voice, according to Reuters.
Ono had raised funding for this project by selling Donut Robotics shares through a Japanese crowdfunding site called Fundinno, which turned out to be a huge success. “We raised our initial target of 7 million yen [R1,1 million] within three minutes and stopped after 37 minutes when we had reached 28 million yen,” he said to Reuters.
Take a look at how the C-mask functions below;
Image credit: Donut robotics