Friday, 03 July, 2020


This 'smart mask' can amplify your voice, make calls

Japanese startup Donut Robotics' c-mask and its application in Tokyo Japanese startup creates 'connected' face mask for coronavirus new normal Japanese startup Donut Robotics c-mask and its application in Tokyo
Melba Vasquez | 29 June, 2020, 22:56

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevailing around the world, face masks have become new normal in today's life.

Japanese startup Donut Robotics developed a smart mask, or c-mask, that's able to transmit messages and translate Japanese into eight languages.

Donut Robotics, the Japanese technology company that invented this c-mask, has stumbled upon this idea while searching for a product to keep up the company running in this outbreak.

The mask will be made up of plastic and will house a Bluetooth that can connect to several electronics like smartphones and tablets and can decipher articulation into instant texts, calls and enhancement of user's voice.

The company says it has already prepared a series of massive upgrades that would be rolled out in a revised version of the c-mask, including AR and VR support. Ono reveals that when the virus struck, their company had just clinched a contract to manufacture robot guides and translators to the Haneda Airport in Tokyo.

"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".

Regarding the launch of this mask, Donut Robotics CEO Taisuke Ono said, 'We have worked hard for many years to prepare the robot and now we are using the same technology in infection fighting products.

At about $40 per mask, Donut Robotics is aiming at a mass market that didn't exist until a few months ago.

Donut Robotics' first 5,000 c-masks will be shipped to buyers in Japan starting in September, with Ono seeking to sell in China, the United States and Europe too. The company has built the prototype of this mask within one month, which has the previously developed translation software and a mask design created by an in-house engineer for his student project 4 years back. The company also informed that revenue will be generated by the subscriber service through the app downloaded by the users. Ono said that the mask was developed four years ago and was meant to interpret speech by analyzing facial muscles.

Ono raised 28 million yen ($260,000) for development by attempting to sell Donut Robotics shares through Japanese crowdfunding site Fundinno.

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