Don’t swear off facemasks just yet.
You might be ready to rip off that face covering and get back to regular life, but companies are creating high-tech wearable technology that might make you change your mind. After more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, face coverings have become a way of life.
Whether yours are cheap and disposable or colorful keepsakes, face coverings accompany you almost everywhere that you go. The CDC recommends wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19 and many businesses require that you wear one before you step through their doors.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, face coverings seem to be the new normal. That’s precisely why some companies are attempting to elevate face coverings to new heights of functional fashion. Honeywell, the technology innovator and music extraordinaire Will.i.am have partnered to create the Xupermask. This isn’t your average pandemic facemask. It comes with an assortment of high-tech features.
The Xupermask has a HEPA filter and three fans to keep you cool. It also has LED lights, earbud docks, built-in microphone and Bluetooth connectivity. The Xupermask has 7 hours of battery life for all its tech amenities. A band of silicone keeps the Xupermask in place on your face and an elastic strap makes it comfortable enough for extended wear.
In a press release with his production partners at Honeywell, Will.i.am revealed his motivation for designing the Xupermask. “Rather than looking “medical,” regular people wanted to keep safe and also try to look a bit styling, a nod to being fashionable and functional. From a functionality standpoint, masks have their issues. Your eyeglasses fog up. Masks are hot and stuffy. Talking on your phone is muffled. Your earpods get dislodged or tangled up. And what do you do to avoid contamination when you must take it off to eat or drink while out in public?”
Will.i.am. certainly has the star power to pull in some heavy hitters when it comes to design. He worked closely with Ironhead Studio in Van Nuys, California. Ironhead Studios created the Black Panther suit, Thanos’ armor, the costumes from Tron Legacy, and many other rad movie costumes.
There are currently two different fashionable color palettes available for the Xupermask. There’s an orange, white and grey mask as well as a black-on-black facemask with orange accents. Each order comes with a fanny pack carrying case, replaceable filters, ear buds and a charger.
The Xupermask is loaded with features aimed at meeting consumers at the crossroads of functionality, fashion, and public safety. It costs $299 USD in its opening release. The Xupermask will be available from April 8th, 2021.
In related news, gaming tech giant Razer recently gave a greenlight for the production of their very own high-tech facemask. It’s called Project Hazel. Although it’s not nearly as far along as the Xupermask, Razer promises that Project Hazel will have removable filters, a self-cleaning wireless charging dock, voice amplifying technology and an endless array of customizable colors.
So, if you thought that the vaccine rollout was the beginning of the end for facemasks, then it’s time to reconsider your future fashion strategy. Just follow the money. Tech companies, apparel brands, and even celebrities are producing the next wave of fashionable and functional face coverings because there’s profit to be made.
Even with vaccinations, health officials are predicting that face coverings will still be required to prevent the spread of infections. Some countries might not have widespread vaccinations in place for a year or more. So, if you plan on traveling and rushing back out into the world, then you’ll most likely need to keep a face covering handy.
Why not wear one that protects your health and boosts your style points at the same time?