A big trend we've noticed at CES this year is the number of companies investing big in personal masks and other sorts of PPE for daily use. The fact Razer ranks among them with Project Hazel is no surprise. But what is surprising is how serious the company is taking it, especially coming from the folks that gave us the LED credit card and gamer gum.
Razer has been no stranger to mask production during the pandemic: It pivoted its manufacturing facilities to make over a million face masks last year, which it donated globally. The fact is that masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, so why not invest in the most gamer'd-up mask you can buy?
Project Hazel itself is Razer's attempt to make the "world's smartest mask," as a step up from your typical cloth and paper masks, by introducing a reusable design loaded with features and tech for everyday use. Though, calling it the smartest mask might be a bit of a reach.
Hazel is a surgical N95 respirator with active ventilation and auto-sterilization, which isn't new for highly-rated masks. What Razer says sets Hazel apart is the innovative quality of life and comfort upgrades it manages to stuff into these things.
The transparent design (and low-light mode) is great for social interactions by letting the mask wearer's face be seen. Another benefit of the see-through design is that it makes it easier to communicate with someone who relies on lip-reading for day-to-day interaction.
The one feature I'm interested in is the built-in voice amp to alleviate the issue of your voice being muffled. The filters are also replaceable and ventilators rechargeable, and there's even a wireless charging case that'll sterilize the mask with UV light.
Finally, these masks come with custom RGB LEDs because it wouldn't be a Razer product without them. Glasses-wearing patrons will be happy to know that an airtight seal around the mask will help prevent your glasses from being fogged, which is the most frustrating thing about wearing a mask.
One important thing to note is that these are not medical grade masks, which means these may not meet medical professionals' requirements for essential work. These are meant for anyone looking for slightly more protection and comfort than paper or cloth mask.
Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan stated that "Razer acknowledges the uncertainty in the road ahead, and so it was our duty to help protect our community members and prepare them from invisible threats."
The masks are coming soon, we're told, though Razer is pretty tight-lipped on the exact release date or pricing.