Due to an alarming increase in coronavirus cases worldwide, people are trying to get used to the “new normal.” Amid the coronavirus pandemic, face masks have become the ‘new norm.’
While the coronavirus vaccine still appears some time away, researchers and engineers are contributing to the new inventions to save people from that virus. Among those inventions, best quality face masks are being produced to hinder the transmission of disease.
Meanwhile, a Japanese startup, Donut Robotics, has made a breakthrough by developing a Bluetooth-enabled smart connected face mask. This smart face mask is manufactured from plastic that fits over standard fabric-based masks.
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Donut Robotics developed prototype within a month by adapting translation software developed for its robot and a mask design that one of the company’s engineers, Shunsuke Fujibayashi, created four years ago for a student project to interpret speech by mapping face muscles.
The mask is connected to an application through Bluetooth that enables people to transmit messages, translate Japanese to eight different languages, amplify mask wearer’s voice and even make calls without actually holding the phone against their faces. The startup named that smart face mask as “connected” or “c-mask.”
That new technology of smart face mask would help the company survive the coronavirus pandemic. For developing this smart face mask; Taisuke Ono, CEO of Donut Robotics said,
“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.”
With the price of $40 per mask, Donut Robotics is targeting a mass market that didn’t exist until recently.
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CEO of Donots Robotics raised 28 million yen (S$364,200) for development by selling Donut Robotics shares through the Japanese crowdfunding site Fundinno. According to him,
“We raised our initial target of 7 million yen within three minutes and stopped after 37 minutes when we had reached 28 million yen”.
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