WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Face masks will be the new normal until the next year or so as the world continues to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japanese scientists have created a smart face mask that can amplify the wearer’s voice and translate speech into eight different languages.
- Tech startup Donut Robotics says the C-Mask will be available as soon as September.
Japanese scientists were able to develop a face mask that can amplify the wearer’s voice, transcribe dictation, and translate speech into eight different languages. That’s one smart mask.
The Japanese tech startup Donut Robotics said the C-Mask will be available to the public as soon as September.
The robotics company designed the C-Mask for airline workers and supermarket employees to improve their communication during the coronavirus pandemic.
The C-mask is Bluetooth-connected to the user’s phone and can translate Japanese into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, English, Spanish, and French.
Originally, Donut Robotics developed its AI-based translation technology for their “Cinnamon” robot to help international travelers at the airport. However, most of Japan’s airports were ordered to close due to the coronavirus outbreaks. The company decided to apply its software to face masks so that Japanese workers, particularly healthcare providers, could speak more clearly from behind protective barriers and face coverings.
In June, Donut Robotics started a crowdsourcing campaign on the Japanese fundraising website Fundinno to raise funds for the production of the C-Mask. They managed to raise 28 million yen ($265,000) in just over 30 minutes, according to CNN.
The company made another successful round of crowdfunding in July.
Donut Robotics says their first 5,000 to 10,000 masks will be distributed across Japan in December. Each of the masks is expected to cost between $40 to $50.
The startup company also hopes to expand its distribution overseas to the UK and the US by April 2021.
Source: Good News Network