Honeywell Partners With Rapper/Entrepreneur Will.i.am for ‘Connected’ Face Mask
The tech-packed “Xupermask” includes built-in fans, a filtration system, noise-cancelling earbuds, LED lights and Bluetooth capability.
ATLANTA — Though it may seem odd for producer, musician, rapper and leader of the Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am to appear on SSI, it really isn’t that much of a stretch after you realize he is also a tech entrepreneur.
In fact, he acquired DIY smart home manufacturer Wink in 2017.
His latest innovation is the XuperMask (pronounced super mask), a high-tech face mask that includes built-in fans, a filtration system, noise-cancelling earbuds, LED lights and Bluetooth capability.
In order to bring this contraption to life, Will.i.am partnered with Honeywell, well-known for its manufacturing of head-to-toe personal protection equipment (PPE). XuperMask says it partnered with the company “to provide a new era of smart wearables at the premium level and the technology expected for the individual who wants to stay connected and help protect others.”
In a Q&A conducted by Honeywell, the company asks Will.i.am what inspired him to create the XuperMask. He answers:
When the pandemic broke out, it quickly became clear that masks were going to be a new must-wear item, like shoes or a jacket when it’s cold outside. It’s about common-sense public safety. First the why: Medical experts and scientists have shown that wearing a mask is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of contagion factors. When masks first became a must, there was a shortage situation, so people started making their own. Rather than looking “medical,” regular people wanted to keep safe and also try to look a bit styling, a nod to being fashionable and functional. From a functionality standpoint, masks have their issues. Your eyeglasses fog up. Masks are hot and stuffy. Talking on your phone is muffled. Your earpods get dislodged or tangled up. And what do you do to avoid contamination when you must take it off to eat or drink while out in public?
According to a New York Times profile, the futuristic-looking mask was designed by Jose Fernandez, a Hollywood costume designer who created the SpaceX suits for Elon Musk and worked on “Black Panther,” “The Avengers” and “X-Men 2.”
Though COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out across the country and mask mandates are beginning to lift in certain areas, Will.i.am is clearly betting that his new mask will become a lasting fashion statement. He compared them with shoes, telling the NYT, “After all, what are shoes, but protective equipment for the feet?”
So, integrators, can you picture yourself rocking a XuperMask on the jobsite? Let us know in the comments.
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