Japanese Startup Creates Instant Translation Smart Face Mask

Stay healthy and communicate better with the smart mask that can translate 8 languages, instantly.
Fabienne Lang
Donut Robotics' c-face smart maskDonut Robotics

As face masks become more and more a part of your daily apparel, a number of companies are creating novel versions of them, like this 3D sculpted and printed one.

A Japanese startup, Donut Robotics, has developed a face mask that connects to the Internet to transmit messages and even translate from Japanese into eight different languages. 

If that doesn't have you running to buy a face mask, we're not sure what will!


Useful mask

Donut Robotics' mask is a white plastic "c-mask" that fits atop regular face masks. It's then able to connect to a smartphone or a tablet application by using Bluetooth. The app then transcribes speech into text messages, makes calls, or amplify's the user's voice — something we've all struggled with because of muffled masked voices. 

"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," Taisuke Ono, chief executive of Donut Robotics told Reuters.

Japanese Startup Creates Instant Translation Smart Face Mask
Donut Robotics' C Mask, Source: Donut Robotics

The fact that the mask can also translate the user's message into eight languages is a fun and useful part as well. Currently, the languages include English, French, Mandarin, Korean, Bahasa Indonesian, Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese.

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Initially, the mask will be sold in Japan as of September, and will expand to include China, the U.S., and Europe soon after. According to Ono, there has been a strong interest in these areas. 

Japanese Startup Creates Instant Translation Smart Face Mask
A handy and safe translation mask, Source: Donut Robotics

Each c-mask costs $40, and Donut Robotics is aiming for a mass market that simply didn't exist last year. 

The startup built a prototype connected mask in the space of a month by adapting translation software developed for its robots — its primary focus prior to the COVID-19 outbreak — and a mask design that one of the company's engineers put together four years ago. 

Face masks just became a lot more useful.

Japanese Startup Creates Instant Translation Smart Face Mask
Both people can read the user's messages and translations, Source: Donut Robotics
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