Japanese Startup Tech Company Uses Bluetooth To 'Connect' Face Mask And Smartphone

Face Mask Attachment c-mask

As face coverings become the norm amid the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese startup Donut Robotics has developed an internet-connected "smart mask" that can transmit messages and translate from Japanese in to eight other languages. Those wearing the mask can send texts, make calls, and raise the volume of the user's voice.

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. 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. The company has named this special mask as c-mask which will be connected to the Bluetooth of the smartphone and will operate through a mobile app.

"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 Donut Robotics CEO Taisuke Ono. The mask also amplifies the voice of the user so that his voice is heard loudly by the other person. The cost of the mask will be around $40 (roughly Rs. 3,000) per mask. The company is looking to do business in the U.S., Europe, and China and says that there has been strong interest in the product.

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Thus, Donut Robotics feel that tapping into a new market will help them sustain the company and be profitable. Ono said that the mask was developed four years ago and was meant to interpret speech by analyzing facial muscles. 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.

Japanese startup Donut Robotics' CEO Taisuke Ono shows the c-mask and its mobile phone application. When customers buy the mask, they will be required to download the App which will have paid subscription services. 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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