A Japanese startup has invented a face mask that comes with “smart features,” including a function that can translate nine languages.
In addition to its translation feature, which can translate Japanese, English, Chinese, French, Korean, Thai, Bahasa, Spanish and Vietnamese, the C-Mask can also help amplify the user’s voice, make calls and note a meeting’s minutes.
“We worked hard for years to develop a robot and we have used that technology to create a product that responds to how the coronavirus has reshaped society,” Chief Executive of Donut Robotics, Taisuke Ono, told Reuters Japan.
The startup adapted the translation software they developed for their robot. They also incorporated a student project mask design created by their engineer, Shunsuke Fujibayashi, four years ago that interprets speech using the movement of facial muscles.
Donut Robotics started a crowdfunding campaign and managed to reach their goal in just minutes of posting.
“We raised our initial target of 7 million yen ($65,350) within three minutes and stopped after 37 minutes when we had reached 28 million yen ($260,000),” Ono said.
C-Mask, which is priced at $40 per piece, will start shipment for its first 5,000 masks in Japan in September. Donut Robotics plans to release the smart face mask in other markets as well, including China, Europe and the United States, as “there has been strong interest.”
Feature Image Screenshot via Donut Robotics