With CES 2021 going virtual due to the ongoing pandemic, there’s a lot of focus on how companies can improve our lives while many of us are working from home or just sheltered in place. Samsung’s latest updates to its TVs add new health features that make it easy to workout at home with an AI-assisted trainer, and the new Lenovo Tab P11 is the perfect Android tablet for families on a budget. The latest product announcement from UK telecom company, Binatone, is probably one of the most simple yet ingenious pieces of tech to come out of CES ― and it’s a mask.
The new Binatone MaskFone seeks to address one issue that many of us have, and it’s getting around muffled voices when having a phone conversation out in public spaces. As important as it is today to wear masks to keep from spreading Covid-19, it can make having conversations difficult whether it’s in person or on the phone. MaskFone’s solution is as simple as embedding a mic and earbuds into your mask.
The mask is made of a water-resistant, breathable, and washable fabric, and includes a pocket for PM2.5 filters that are used to block out harmful particles and pollutants. It connects to your smartphone wirelessly and even has one-touch voice-activation for Google Assistant. In addition to the embedded mic and earbuds, the mask also has control buttons on the side, and the Hubble Connect app can be used to boost the user’s voice.
The company states that besides helping people communicate better while using masks, keeping your phone from being exposed was another inspiration for the mask. It will hopefully give you fewer reasons to take out your phone and constantly have to sanitize it using any one of the best ultraviolet phone cleaners.
Do you even want to expose your phone to potentially infective airborne particles? Things might be different if you could drop your phone in a bucket of sanitizer once you get home. As things stand now, however, we need a more practical alternative.
The MaskFone is available now for $50 on the company website, and can also be found on Amazon. There may be a wait, as current shipping times estimate for mid-March. Or if you’re looking for something flashier, you can always go for one of Razer’s new concept masks with RGB Chroma lighting.
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