If you’ve ever wished your face mask had more tech, you might not have to wait too much longer. Razer confirmed this week that its RGB-clad, voice-modifying face mask will eventually be a real Razer product you can buy.
Razer first showed off a prototype of Project Hazel during the CES 2021 tech trade show in January. This week, during The Tom’s Hardware Show livestream, Mike Scharnikow, Razer senior marketing manager, confirmed that Razer is moving forward with Project Hazel and its robust set of tech.
“We’ve had a lot of great...feedback on this from CES as a prototype, and it’s something that we’re actually moving out of the prototype stage on, and out of the concept stage and taking this on the path to productization,” Scharnikow told Tom’s Hardware.
Scharnikow demoed the mask, which is N95-compliant with active air ventilation. Not all tech concepts come to market. And if they do, they sometimes look different from the prototype. But Razer seems to be moving forward with a lot of the features detailed on the Project Hazel prototype, like a speaker array that uses Razer’s voice amplifier tech to ”take your voice from inside the mask and recreate it out in a very crisp, clear, natural manner to the outside world,” Scharnikow said. There’s also customizable RGB that can provide battery information and a silicone band to seal the mask against your face to prevent glasses from fogging up.
Razer is known for making some of the best gaming keyboards and other PC gaming-focused products, but Scharnikow pointed out that it’s been involved in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic as well, including converting some of its manufacturing facilities to make masks and donating over 1 million masks to medical facilities.
So far we’ve seen Project Hazel in black or white, but if it’s successful we may see additional options. Scharnikow noted that Razer has a history of bringing new color options to its products.
“First we want to get this out, make sure it’s a great product, make sure it’s something that our fans and our customers love and are really using in the best way possible. And then we can figure out ways to put different colors on it for personalization and the like,” the exec told us.
Scharnikow couldn’t share a release date for Project Hazel but said those details will be available in “the coming months.”
Still don’t believe Project Hazel will really hit shelves? Well, Scharnikow isn’t the only one talking about the mask. Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan also told Yahoo Finance this week that Razer is “going to proceed in making it a reality and ship the smart mask.”
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Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.