Japanese Startup Creates ‘Connected’ Face Mask for Coronavirus New Normal

As face coverings develop into the norm amid the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese startup Donut Robotics has developed an internet-connected ‘good masks’ that may transmit messages and translate from Japanese into eight different languages.

The white plastic ‘c-mask’ suits over customary face masks and connects by way of Bluetooth to a smartphone and pill utility that may transcribe speech into textual content messages, make calls, or amplify the masks wearer’s voice.

“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,” stated Taisuke Ono, the chief government of Donut Robotics.

Donut Robotics’ engineers came up with the idea for the masks as they searched for a product to assist the corporate survive the pandemic. When the coronavirus struck, it had simply secured a contract to produce robotic guides and translators to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, a product that faces an unsure future after the collapse of air journey.

Donut Robotics’ first 5,000 c-masks shall be shipped to consumers in Japan beginning in September, with Ono trying to promote in China, the United States and Europe too. There has been sturdy curiosity, he stated.

At about $40 (roughly Rs. 3,000) per masks, Donut Robotics is aiming at a mass market that didn’t exist till just a few months in the past. One intention, he stated, is to generate income from subscriber providers provided by way of an app that customers will obtain.

Donut Robotics constructed a prototype related masks inside a month by adapting translation software program developed for its robotic and a masks design that one of many firm’s engineers, Shunsuke Fujibayashi, created 4 years in the past for a scholar venture to interpret speech by mapping face muscle mass.

Ono raised JPY 28 million (roughly Rs. 1.98 crores) for growth by promoting Donut Robotics shares by Japanese crowdfunding website 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 said.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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