This 'smart mask' can transmit and translate messages

Japanese Startup Creates Face Mask Attachment With Transcribing And Translating Functions

In order to bring innovation to this new norm, a Japanese startup called Donut Robotics has built a net based "smart mask" capable of transmitting and interpreting of Japanese into eight distinct dialects. This mask will also allow the organisation to generate revenue via subscriptions from the app that the company will launch.

The engineers at Donut Robotics thought about the mask concept as they looked for a product that can help their company survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed in Japan, Reuters reports that the mask connects wirelessly to the internet via a smartphone. When the coronavirus struck, it had just secured a contract to supply robot guides and translators to Tokyo's Haneda Airport, something that faces an uncertain future following the collapse of air travel.

The technology, called the C-Mask, fits over standard fabric masks and connects via Bluetooth to an app that enables it to transcribe speech to text messages.

Japanese Startup Creates Face Mask Attachment With Transcribing And Translating Functions
This Face Mask With Bluetooth Lets You Make Calls & Dictate Messages: Convergence In The COVID Times

"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", said Ono. Ono says the company hopes to sell the masks in China, the U.S. and Europe in the near future.

"It delivers your voice to the smartphone of the other party and realizes "to convert voice into letters", "translate in 8 languages", and "create minutes". Each mask's price nears about $40 and the company plans to ship the first 5,000 units to Japan at the beginning of September.

Donut Robotics is also aiming to sell the smart mask in the United States, Europe and China, where fears of a second coronavirus wave are a recurring feature of the current social and economic landscape. Ono said that the mask was developed four years ago and was meant to interpret speech by analyzing facial muscles. The cash to make the item, proportional to $260,000, originated from the offer of Donut Robotics shares through crowdfunding site Fundinno. He said that we set our initial target of 7 million yen within three minutes and closed it after 37 minutes, during which we had collected 28 million yen.

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