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Internet-connected Face Masks Invented by Japanese Start-up Can Raise Voice and Translate

Garsha Sai Nitesh
Garsha Sai Nitesh

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevailing around the world, face masks have become new normal in today’s life. People started wearing designing masks to masks with quotes. Now, Japanese startup Donut Robotics recently developed a smart mask with an active internet-connected that can transmit a message and translate Japanese into eight languages. 

The newly designed white plastic ‘c-mask’ fits over a standard face mask will a standard Bluetooth connection to a smartphone or a tablet that can transcribe speech into texts and make calls or even amplify the voice. 

“We worked hard for the last few years to develop a robot and now used that technology to create a product that responds to how the coronavirus has reshaped our society,” said Taisuke Ono, Chief Executive of Donut Robotics. 

Donut came up with new innovative ideas for the masks as they were in the search to develop a product to ease pandemic pressure on people.  

The first 5,000 c-masks will be sold to buyers in Japan starting in September. The company said it has plans to sell products in China also and later in The US and Europe. The cost of the mask will be around $40 (roughly Rs. 3,000) per mask. 

The company is aiming to target the mass market by increasing production that did not exist a few months ago. When customers buy the mask, they will be required to download the App which will have paid subscription services. 

Donut Robotics already built a prototype connected mask with a month by using translation software developed for its robot and a mask designed by the company’s engineer Shunsuke Fujibayashi, who created a student project to interpret speech by mapping face muscles. 

Ono raised JPY 28 million (roughly Rs. 1.98 crores) for development by selling Donut Robotics shares through the Japanese crowdfunding site Fundinno. “We raised our initial target of 7 million yen within three minutes and stopped after 37 minutes when we had reached 28 million yen,” he added. 

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