A joint venture between Will.i.am, the rapper, and Honeywell.
Called Xupermask and made of silicon with athletic mesh fabric on the sides, it fits snugly around the bottom half of the face and comes with three dual-speed fans, a Honeywell HEPA filtration system (which the company is careful to say is not medical quality), as well as noise-canceling headphones, LED lights for night time, a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth capability.
It allows you to play music and take calls, has a seal over the nose to keep glasses from fogging and makes the wearer look sort of like a sci-fi rhino warrior. It’s not exactly subtle.
The mask costs $299, which is very expensive for a simple face mask but the average top-end price for noise-canceling headphones (less than Sony and Bose, more than Apple). It was designed by Jose Fernandez, the Hollywood costume designer who created the SpaceX suits for Elon Musk and worked on “Black Panther,” “The Avengers” and “X-Men 2.”
Coming just as vaccines are being more widely distributed and just as states like Texas, Indiana and Mississippi are relaxing mask mandates, the debut represents either the future of face masks or a yet another fashion-tech misfire, reports the New York Times.
“We are living in sci-fi times,” Will.i.am said. The pandemic, he said, “is straight out of a friggin’ movie. But we are wearing masks from yesterday’s movie. So I wanted to make a mask to fit the era that we’re in.”
That means, in part, learning the lesson of the sneaker. Well, and the smartphone. The sneaker and the smartphone combined!
If you can't resist getting yourself one, they are available to order from today at xupermask.com