Razer has been making cloth face masks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, doing sterling work donating them to hospital staff. But as a company, Razer never really knows how to stop: why just design when you can over-design? Thus was Project Hazel, the company’s super high-tech mask concept, born. And of course, it has LED lights.
Project Hazel is a full plastic N95 mask with a silicone membrane to make a seal over the user’s nose, chin, and jaw. The removable filters are on either side (the little gas mask-looking protrusions) with integrated RGB LED lights. But the electronics aren’t merely cosmetic: To help facilitate communication, the mask includes a tiny microphone and amplifier, hopefully ending the “Eh?” back and forth of social interactions.
The mask is also transparent, allowing for better body language and lip-reading. There are additional lights on the interior, displaying your mouth even in the dark—which seems like overkill, since it’s not as if you could see people’s faces in the dark without a mask, anyway. Project Hazel includes a full charging case with UV lights on the interior, which disinfects the case as it recharges. The mask comes in black or white varieties.
Unlike some of the more outlandish concept devices Razer shows off at CES, the Hazel mask might actually make it to production later this year. To quote the press release:
“The smart mask concept will continue to be optimized through rigorous testing and user feedback to ensure safety compliance and maximum comfort and usability. Design improvements will also be ongoing to support the evolving user needs and to deliver value without compromising functionality and performance. Project Hazel will be foundational to Razer’s ongoing support and commitment to public health and safety within the community.”