Xupermask should bring variety to the dreary everyday mask life. Despite changeable filters and many features, the fashion accessory has a big catch.
With Covid-19, the face mask has become an everyday object in Europe as well. However, the white, sometimes black, protective covers are not exactly stylish. Some manufacturers such as Airpop and the gaming expert Razer have therefore brought fashionable masks with special functions onto the market. But the craziest mask so far packed full of high-tech comes from rapper will.i.am in cooperation with the US company Honeywell.
High tech fashion accessory
The “Xupermask” (pronounced: / so͞opərmask) is not just a face mask. If will.i.am and Honeywell have their way, they should also be a fashion item and headphones for on the go. will.i.am himself says about the mask:
“We created Xupermask to change the rules of the game for our new standard. In this new era of style and safety, Xupermask is an uncompromising face mask design with high-tech performance for the modern lifestyle. Together with Honeywell, we have developed a smart mask that is state-of-the-art and delivers functionality with style. “
The futuristic design of the mask is complemented by daylight LEDs integrated into the mask.
One of the materials used is a silicone strip that provides a seal. Thanks to the adjustable headband and the choice of two sizes (SM and ML), the mask is suitable for many head shapes and sizes. So the Xupermask should be suitable for daily use.
In addition to will.i.am, Jose Fernandez also contributed to the design of the Xupermask. Fernandez is CEO of Ironhead Studio, which was responsible for the masks for Spider Man, Black Panther and Tron, among others. Honeywell, which manufactures air purifiers among other things, provided the technology. It belongs to the Fortune 500 list and is number 92 of the top-selling US companies.
Is the Xupermask an FFP2 alternative?
The mask uses HEPA filters to purify inhaled air. Two integrated fans with three speed levels should ensure that wearers can still breathe easily despite the HEPA filter. The particulate filters are also used in air purification devices for domestic use.
It is unclear to what extent the filters are comparable with FFP2 and N95 masks. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has asked the manufacturer Honeywell, but has not yet received an answer. Honeywell points out, however, that the Xupermask is not intended for medical use and is not an alternative to surgical masks. It is expressly not a respirator. We must therefore assume that the Xupermask is not an alternative to use in places where an FFP2 / N95 mask is required.
More on the topic: High-tech face mask against corona virus
Wearable with many functions
Honeywell explicitly describes the Xupermask as a smart mask for the “mid- and post-pandemic world” – also for the time after the pandemic. The mask is designed as a “wearable” and should be more of a lifestyle supplement due to its wearing comfort and additional functions. This is to be understood in contrast to conventional face masks, which offer hardly anything beyond protection in a pandemic and are disposable items.
The mask has removable, magnetic headphones with active noise canceling (ANC). A QCC5124 chip from Qualcomm is responsible for audio processing. The Xupermask thus supports, among other things, Bluetooth 5.0 for connection to the smartphone. The mask lasts up to seven hours on one charge. There is a USB-C port on the outside so that it can be carried while charging.
The music playback, lighting and fan are controlled via buttons on both sides of the mask.
Availability and price
The Xupermask is available in two color variations: white-gray-orange and black-black-orange. The scope of delivery includes a carrying case, HEPA filter for three months, headphone attachments in several sizes and a USB-C cable. The Xupermask will be available in limited quantities in North America, UK and EU starting April 8th. The price is $ 299.