I have to be honest, nothing about that title is even remotely predictable. In fact, it gradually gets weirder with each subsequent word. You would not expect Will.i.am to release a medical product, much more, collaborate with Honeywell on it … but together the rapper and the OEM conglomerate collaborated on a mask that combines the best of both parties. Titled XUPERMASK comes the $ 299 face mask with dual three-speed fans and HEPA filters, but also includes Bluetooth earphones with noise-canceling sound and 7-hour battery life. I want to be honest, the connection with Will.i.am aside, the mask looks really quite futuristic (it comes co-designed by Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez, who also designed SpaceX astronaut suits). The fact that it’s built by Honeywell gives it a good amount of credibility, and I can not believe I’m saying this, but I could actually see myself wearing one of these.
XUPERMASK tries to make face masks a bit of a pop culture element. It’s certainly not fluffy – the mask awaits FDA approval, and it comes equipped with replaceable HEPA filters manufactured by Honeywell – a company that relies on designing the world’s largest HVAC systems. The pop culture element comes from rapper and Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am, who also aims to turn XUPERMASK into an apostate pair of wireless earphones.
As for the face mask part of the design, the XUPERMASK has a universal fit thanks to a silicone face seal and a high-performance elastic strap that wraps around your head. The mask is equipped with dual fans that work with 3-step settings to deliver purified air directly to your face while you breathe. Air is pushed through a set of folded HEPA filters made by Honeywell, and the filters are designed to be replaced every 30 days for optimal performance. The fans themselves run for an impressive 7 hours on a full charge, providing enough use to get you through most of your day … and to seal the deal, the mask even sports glowing LED rings around each fan for the futuristic appeal.
Aside from being just a face mask, the XUPERMASK (pronounced Supermask if you’re still wondering) also includes a pair of wireless earphones. The headphones appear from the sides of the mask and can be docked on the mask itself on certain magnetic panels. When you want to wear them, just blow off the earphones and place them in the ear. The headphones come with Bluetooth 5.0, which pairs seamlessly with any smart device. They come with active noise reduction (quite impressive for a face mask) and even house an integrated noise-canceling microphone for things like answering calls or sending voice messages. There is no indication of where this microphone is located, but I would be thoroughly impressed if it was within the mesh cabinet itself. That would essentially mean that you could talk while wearing the mask and not have your voice muffled.
XUPERMASK comes in two colors so far – one in pure black and another in a white + orange combination. Just visually, it looks pretty impressive. The LED rings, metallic fan covers and the magnetic earplugs all distinguish XUPERMASK. The mask even comes with a set of controls built on both sides, so you can change the fan speed, LED light, turn on / off the ANC function and do basic things like answer calls or pause music. From the top of my head, a fan-powered face mask with earphones sounds like a crazy idea that might just work, and with XUPERMASK, Honeywell and Will.i.am are betting on a future where masks will still be a common outdoor face accessory. .. in which case having wireless earphones built into your face mask just sounds a little more sensible. XUPERMASK is currently available in two sizes and at a retail price of $ 299. The mask comes as part of a XUPERKIT (I guess the nomenclature was Will.i.am’s idea), which includes a carrying case, 3 months worth of replaceable HEPA filters, a USB charging cable and interchangeable earphone tips for different ear sizes. XUPERMASK has not yet received FDA approval, but it has been granted emergency use.
Designers: will.i.am and Jose I. Fernandez in partnership with Honeywell