The story begins with Marc Benioff, CEO of cloud computing company Salesforce, watching the MTV Video Music Awards last summer

To be precise, he was looking at Willje am, the rapper, entrepreneur and founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, riding around with what appeared to be a cross between a gas mask and alien space helmet So he called Willjeam, whose full name is William Adams and who has been a regular at Salesforce's Dreamforce tech conference since 2010, and asked what was on his face in the world

Will I said it was an idea he had made So Mister Benioff told Willje Am I he really should talk to Darius Adamczyk, the Managing Director of Honeywell, the multinational conglomerate that turned out to be responsible for manufacturing millions of N95 masks in the past year Mr. Benioff introduced, and the 8 avril, the results of this conversation hit the market

Called Xupermask and made of silicon with athletic mesh fabric on the sides, this is a joint venture between Willjesuis and Honeywell It fits snugly around the lower half of the face and comes with three dual speed fans, a Honeywell HEPA filtration system (which the company is careful to say is not medical grade), as well as noise-canceling headphones, LED lights for the night , a rechargeable battery and bluetooth capability It allows you to play music and take calls, has a nose seal to prevent the glasses from fogging up and makes the wearer look like a sci-fi rhino warrior

The mask costs 299 $, which is very expensive for a simple face mask but the high end mid price for noise canceling headphones (less than Sony and Bose, more than Apple) It was designed by Jose Fernandez, the Hollywood costume designer who created the SpaceX costumes for Elon Musk and worked on «Black Panther», «The Avengers» and «X-Men 2″And it's going to be sold direct to consumers, Supreme style drops

It's a bet, in other words, that the hypebeast culture will embrace the Coming mask just as vaccines are more widely distributed and so will states like Texas, Indiana and Mississippi relax mask mandates, the beginnings represent either the future of face masks, be another fashion technology failure.

«We live in a time of science fiction», Willjesuis says The pandemic, he said, «is straight out of a shitty movie But we wear masks from yesterday's movie So I wanted to make a mask suitable for the times we are in”

That means, in part, learn the lesson of the sneaker (well, and the smartphone The combined sneaker and smartphone!)

After all, what are the shoes, Willjedis, but protective equipment for the feet? We just forgot that was their original goal, because shoes have become a form of self-expression You cannot, he stressed, «enter a shopping center, a restaurant or a plane without shoes», just like you're not supposed to walk into one of those places without a mask «But you don't have to tell anyone to wear shoes», he declared therefore, if you can make a mask serve the same purpose (or versatile), you win

I was speaking via Zoom from his headquarters in Los Angeles, a space that contains a soundstage, a recording studio, son «fab lab» (where he makes prototypes) and now, his Xupermask team

I had the idea for Xupermask last March, just before his 45th birthday, while he was in Britain for the filming of «The Voice» (he has been a judge on the program since 10 years) and Europe was starting to block «I was worried that I couldn't get into America, and even if I could enter it, to be on a plane», did he declare. So he called his hardware team and told them to get down to business.

He has dived in and out of technology since he helped found Beats Electronics in 2006 In 2014, he developed a fashion smart watch called Puls, et en 2016 came out with fashion headphones that you can wear around your neck like jewelry – Naomi Campbell and Kendall Jenner were ambassadors – but neither of the two products really took off exactly one rocket) He doesn't care He likes research and development

Now, however, he has the power of Honeywell behind him and plans Xupermask-related collaborations with artists and other brands (He won't name names, although he said how much he loved the North Face-Gucci collaboration) And he doesn't really think, really not that the masks are going to disappear anytime soon Not if recent history is any indication

«SARS has occurred in Japan and Southeast Asia, and they got over it, and they always wear masks», he said, suggesting that it would be the same in the West. Especially since the masks also seemed to have helped limit cases of influenza In all cases, whatever happens on the pitch, he expects masks on airplanes to be the new standard «This is what i hear», he says

serajesuis, masque, black eyed peas

News – United States – Is this the future of face masks?
Associated title :
Willjeam launches high-tech Xupermask in partnership with Honeywell
Is this the future of face masks?
Willjeam unveils technology-based face mask
Willjeam unveils pandemic-inspired face mask, with bluetooth, sound and noise-canceling microphone
WATCH | Willjeam launches high-tech face mask including headphones
Willjeam and Honeywell bet on sci-fi inspired masks
Willjeam launches wearable tech mask, XUPERMASK


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