Will.i.am has always been on the edge of technology apps and creations and this time he’s partnered with costume designer Jose Fernandez and engineering company Honeywell for the creation of Xupermask.
Fernandez has created costumes for films including The Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men United and The Avengers through his Ironhead Studio, a costume and creature design firm.
Xupermask is a COVID-19 face covering that features a HEPA-filtered design that helps mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and unwelcome sound with its noise-canceling audio and microphone capabilities. The Black Eyed Peas rapper said the idea was inspired by annoyances like foggy glasses and muffled phone conversations since masks have become part of our everyday lives.
“I thought about all the pain points that people have with masks and earbuds and how earbuds were not designed to pick up the voice of people that have fabric in front of their mouth,” Will.i.am told People. “People have to take the mask off and put themselves at risk. [With Xupermask], you could literally whisper on a bike on a Zoom, and they hear you perfectly fine because we block off the wind and we block out the noise and block out the germs.”
The Xupermask uses three dual-speed fans and features a Honeywell-patented High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration system and filtered port. It also comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, LED day glow lights, multi-functioning button controls and a magnetic earbud docking system, which is all powered by a 7-hour battery.
The face-covering will retail for $299 and comes with a carrying case, three months-worth of filters and a charging cable.
“I would like to add how blessed and thrilled I am with this collaboration with Honeywell. There’s not that many Black entrepreneurs in tech. The work that I do in the inner city, teaching kids computer science and robotics and engineering, this is confirmation that — though there are not that many people that look like them in the tech field — good ideas are needed. So this partnership means a lot, not only to me, but to the 1,200 kids that I support in the hood that I come from,” the rapper further commented to The Hollywood Reporter.
The advanced face-covering goes on sale on April 8 at XUPERMASK.COM.