Razer unveils smart mask for socially distanced gaming

The mask has been designed to highlight facial expression

Razer have designed a new smart mask and gaming chair as part of their Project Hazel and Project Brooklyn range.

The new smart mask has a clear design, allowing players to lipread and view facial cues, along with lights that highlight the wearer’s facial expressions. Razer sees it as preparing for ‘the new normal’, which may involve wearing masks in crowded spaces such as gaming conventions and tournaments.

Project Hazel, the name given to the mask in development, has N95 medical-grade respirator protection, and will come with detachable and rechargeable active ventilators and air flow regulators. The mask has also been tested for bacterial filtration efficiency, managing to filter at least 95% of airborne particles.

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Alongside a more visually appealing design, the masks have an enhanced audio system with an amplifier and built-in microphone. The mask will come with a box kitted out with UV lights to disinfect the component parts, which will also serve as a charger.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Razer converted some of their manufacturing facilities to provide medical-grade masks. Over 1 million of these were made and donated, but Project Hazel looks to prevent the environmental issues associated with disposable masks.

Project Brooklyn Razer gaming chair
Project Brooklyn Razer gaming chair. CREDIT: Razer

Razer’s trademark lighting hasn’t gone anywhere either, with the masks offering an optional Razer Chroma RGB lighting zone with 16.8m colours.

“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,” said Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer. “The Project Hazel smart mask concept is intended to be functional, yet comfortable and useful for interacting with the world, while maintaining a sociable aesthetic.”

The Project Brooklyn gaming chair was also announced, combining a classic integrated gaming chair with a compact design. The chair is kitted out with RGB lighting, tactile feedback, a 60” rollout display, and 4D armrest tables. Described as a “cockpit”, the chair is also equipped to react to your gaming experience with lights and vibrations.

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“Project Brooklyn is an exciting concept developed on the true essence of a fully immersive gaming station,” said Tan. “The haptic feedback, visuals and overall functional design with attention to ergonomics will deliver a one-of-a-kind gameplay experience.”

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