Face masks help keep you protected from the world, but Will.i.am thinks your mask can also help you connect with it.
The daring musician has partnered with American technology company Honeywell on the “smart” Xupermask (pronounced “supermask”), which promises to do just that. Set to debut on April 8, the tech-enhanced face covering allows wearers to meet safety guidelines without having to sacrifice style—or WiFi connectivity.
Looking like something brought back from the future—which makes sense since chief creative officer Jose Hernandez has designed costumes for Daft Punk and super hero movies—the Xupermask aims to keep you safe, stylish and totally connected in a mid- and post-pandemic world.
First, the sleek covering features an ergonomic design and silicone face seal to make sure it fits securely regardless the shape of your face, something the CDC has said is vital to reducing the spread of Covid-19. It also has dual three-speed fans for enhanced breathability and HEPA filters to make sure the air you’re breathing in is as clean as possible.
But it may be the device’s tech that really separates the Xupermask from others on the market. The covering includes noise-canceling in-ear headphones with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, as well as an integrated microphone to make sure people can hear you (or if you want to pretend you’re Darth Vader). There are also LED day glow lights to help the mask stand out when you want to. And all this tech is run by a battery with seven hours of life, so you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of juice before you get home.
“We created Xupermask to change the game of our new normal. In this new age of style and security, Xupermask is an uncompromising face mask design with high-tech performance for the modern lifestyle,” Will.i.am said in a statement. “Alongside Honeywell, we’ve engineered a state-of-the-art smart mask to provide function with style.”
The Xupermask will be available in two colorways—white/gray/orange or black/black/orange—and comes with a three-month supply of HEPA filters, ear tips, a USB-C charging cable and carrying case. The mask is priced at $299 and is available to buy through the company’s website now.
Of course, the Xupermask isn’t the only high-tech face covering out there. Last fall, LG introduced the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, a face mask that uses two fans to purify the air you breathe. And last week, Razer announced plans to put the Project Hazel N95 mask concept it debuted at CES into production. Like the Xupermask, it features a built-in mic and amplifier, along with a semi-transparent panel (so people can see your lips).
The future of wild and wacky face masks is clearly now.