Will.i.am Unveils $375 Bluetooth-Enabled "Xupermask"
Say hello to the high-tech future of coronavirus fashion
Published Apr 06, 2021Though coronavirus infections remain at uncomfortably high levels in the pandemic's third wave, vaccines have offered a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone who is getting a little tired of wearing a face mask everywhere they go. In the meantime, Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am has unveiled a top-tier version of your household N95s, the Xupermask.
The artist has shared plans to drop a high-tech rework of everyday coronavirus PPE in the form of a Bluetooth-enabled, HEPA-filtered and LED souped-up facemask.
The Xupermask, which will run you $299 USD (about $375 CAD), comes as a collaboration with costume designer Jose Fernandez and engineering company Honeywell. Naturally, the wearable tech also features built-in headphones and a microphone, as well as a seven-hour battery.
"I thought about all the pain points that people have with masks and earbuds and how earbuds were not designed to pick up the voice of people that have fabric in front of their mouth," Will.i.am told PEOPLE.
"People have to take the mask off and put themselves at risk. [With Xupermask], you could literally whisper on a bike on a Zoom, and they hear you perfectly fine because we block off the wind and we block out the noise and block out the germs."
While we admit the mask does look pretty cool (albeit a tad pricey), the emergence of high-tech, high-fashion PPE this late into the pandemic seems like a potential misfire. With vaccines rolling out across the world — if a bit sluggish here in Canada — is it safe to assume that face masks will soon be a thing of the past?
Either way, Will.i.am's new Xupermask drops this Thursday (April 8), so wearers can expect to get a solid few months of use out of the thing at least. See some shots of the Xupermask below, and learn more over at Will.i.am's website.