Entertainer and entrepreneur Will.i.am of music group Black Eyed Peas introduces his latest tech innovation immediately: Xupermask.
Pronounced “supermask,” the product is made in partnership with know-how and manufacturing firm Honeywell International. Will.i.am remembered the precise date the concept got here to him, he stated, chatting from his hometown of Los Angeles through video name.
“March 12, 2020, I was in London, feeling a little anxious getting on an airplane to come back to America and worried about when I’ll be able to come back to the U.K., because I work there,” he recalled. Along with being a producer and songwriter, Will.i.am — born William Adams — is a celeb decide on TV singing competitors “The Voice UK.” He’s additionally the founding father of i.am+, an L.A.-based know-how firm.
“I said, ‘Hey, we need to make a mask that is equipped with filters’ — of course, both inhaling and exhaling and air circulation, so that when you’re wearing the mask you don’t feel claustrophobic, especially when we have our silicone seal that allows you to wear glasses and not have to worry about your glasses fogging up,” he continued.
The wearable face know-how, launching April 8, is made utilizing medical-grade silicone and an adjustable elastic strap, that includes three dual-speed followers and a Honeywell-created filtration system (“High-efficiency Particulate Arresting”), plus noise-canceling audio, a microphone, a magnetic earbud docking system, Bluetooth connectivity and a seven-hour battery. Produced in two colours and sizes, Xupermask retails for $299 and can be out there within the U.S., Canada, the U.Ok. and E.U. at Xupermask.com.
The first prototype was made on April 20 of final yr. By June, the second construct was full, and Honeywell got here into the image in August.
“They’re one of the biggest manufacturers of N95s, so when they saw the tech and verified and validated our efforts to solve this problem, they came on board and helped us innovate and fine-tune the filters,” Will.i.am stated.
He labored with a global workforce of collaborators, which he “funds,” he stated, some primarily based regionally in Burbank, Calif. and others overseas: “We have teams in India and Shenzhen. I worked a lot out of the U.K. as well…It was an amazing, beautiful collaboration, because everyone was racing to solve the problem. Everyone was trying to solve the problem to give people peace of mind. And when you have people working on a product that is to give people peace of mind, it brings about a different energy and that energy is, you know, caring for people.”
The product affords newness as customers modify to COVID-19, its affect on on a regular basis life immediately and shifting ahead. While the value level would possibly show prohibitive for some, particularly when in comparison with the myriad material or disposable choices out there out there, Xupermask could fill that void for these with the means or have to journey who’re searching for a extra dependable masks choice.
During the pandemic, “people just didn’t want to wear a regular mask,” Will.i.am went on. “They put scarves on their face, bandanas on their face. But here we have a robust mask that still gives you that sneaker cool, street edge that goes hand in hand with the sneaker mentality. The sneaker drop, the expressive collaboration design that lends itself to collaborate with other fashion houses down the road.”
He hopes to do exactly that, collaborate with style corporations on future masks launches.
Speaking on the shortage of funding for Black entrepreneurs in tech, he stated: “That breaks my heart, that people of color, when it comes to tech companies, we don’t have our Silicon Valley. But when you think of communities like Shenzhen in China that came out of nowhere…Now it’s a booming city that makes everything. So, if it can happen in Shenzhen, it could happen in Mississippi. It could happen in Atlanta. It could happen in [L.A.’s] Watts.”
Through his i.am Angel Foundation, Will.i.am affords STEM schooling to youngsters in underserved L.A. communities.
“I think primarily the reason why we don’t see that is because people in the inner city and Black communities, there’s no one in tech that looks like them for them to follow suit,” he continued. “And so [with] this collaboration — Honeywell is one of the biggest companies in the world — kids in inner cities, the dreamers of tomorrow, the ones that are going to create the jobs of tomorrow, they know what’s possible now.”