Back in January, gaming accessory maker Razer detailed several concepts, including an RGB-adorned mask called Project Hazel. The company has now confirmed plans to produce the Project Hazel mask.
CEO Min-Liang Tan told Yahoo Finance that Razer planned to make the mask, but didn’t elaborate when manufacturing would begin. He explained that the company realized wearing masks would still be common practice for some time, especially since in countries with slower vaccine roll-outs.
“So with that in mind, we are going to go ahead and solve the sustainable aspect of the mask which is one of the big things for us. Project Hazel is going to be a reality. We are going to make it happen and I think we will all will be, unfortunately, wearing masks for a long time to come,” Tan told Yahoo Finance.
It’s also not clear how much it’d cost to buy one of these masks.
The sustainability argument is definitely one angle to take with the Project Hazel mask. In case you missed the CES announcement, Razer said the mask was innovated on the N95 mask, but it’s reusable. Project Hazel sports a clear front panel so people can see your mouth along with internal RGB lighting to illuminate your face while wearing it. It includes detachable and rechargeable active ventilators and ‘SmartPods’ that regulate airflow for optimal breathability. Further, Razer says the mask can filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles.
So, yes, the Project Hazel mask could help reduce waste from disposable masks. However, I’m not certain if it’s more sustainable than the myriad of reusable and washable cloth masks. It’s also worth noting that Health Canada and other public health agencies encourage people not to use vented masks like this.
One of the main benefits of wearing a mask is that it protects others by catching the particles coming out of your mouth and nose. Masks with exhalation valves just spray those particles into the air. Granted, the Project Hazel filters could reduce how much escapes, but frankly it’s a risk I’d rather not take.
You can learn more about Project Hazel here.