As face masks have become the norm amid the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese startup Donut Robotics has developed an Internet-connected “smart mask” that can transmit messages and translate from Japanese into eight other languages.
The white plastic C-Mask fits over standard face masks and connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone and tablet application that can transcribe speech into text messages, make calls, or amplify the wearer’s voice.
號稱世界第一能與智慧型手機結合的口罩，Donut Robotics執行長 Taisuke Ono表示公司將研發多年的機器人與新科技結合打造出此產品。
Marketed as the world’s first “smart mask that works with smartphones,” Donut Robotics chief executive Taisuke Ono said that the company had “worked hard for years to develop a robot and used that technology to create [this] product.”
Donut Robotics’ engineers came up with the idea for the mask as they searched for a product to help the company survive the pandemic. It has been reported that the first batch of 5,000 c-masks will be shipped to buyers in Japan starting in September with the company looking to sell in China, the United States and Europe in the near future.
At about US$40 per mask, Ono expressed hope to generate revenue from subscriber services.
Meanwhile, Ono has plans to expand image systems of the face masks so that AR and VR can be supported and used as a new communication device in the future.