The story begins when Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce Cloud-computing, watched the MTV Video Music Awards last summer.
In particular, he was looking at Will.i.am, the rap, entrepreneur and founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, spinning around wearing a gas mask, a cross between an alien space helmet.
So he called Will.i.am, whose full name is William Adams, who has been a regular participant in Salesforce’s Dreamforce technology conference since 2010, and asked what the world has in store for him.
Will.i.am said it was an idea he was making noodles. So Benioff told Will.i.am that he really needs to talk to Darius Adamchik, CEO of Honeywell, a multinational conglomerate that has been accidentally responsible for making millions of N95 face masks over the past year. Benioff introduced,: the results of that conversation reached the market on Thursday.
After the surgical mask և mask with your own hands և fashion mask, the smart mask.
“This is a new category,” said Will Lang, Chief Commercial Officer of Honeywell Personal Defense Equipment.
Called Xupermask, it is made of silicone with an athletic mesh on the side. It is a joint venture of Will.i.am և Honeywell. It fits snugly in the middle of the face և has three two-level fans, Honeywell HEPA filtration system (which the company cautiously says is not medical quality), as well as noise-canceling headphones, LED lights at night, rechargeable battery և Bluetooth capability.
It allows you to play music, make calls, have a seal on the nose to keep the glasses from fogging, and make it look like a science-fiction rhino warrior.
It’s not that subtle.
The mask costs $ 299, which is very expensive for a simple mask, but the average high price for noise-canceling headphones (less than Sony և Bose, more than Apple).
It was designed by Hollywood costume designer Jose Oze Fernandez, who created SpaceX costumes for Elon Musk, worked on “The Leopard”, “The Avengers”, “X-Men”. And it is sold directly to the consumer, with top style drops.
It is a bet, in other words, that the hypebeast culture will accept the mask. As vaccines become more widespread, such as Texas, Indiana, and Mississippi, such as mask loosening mandates, the debut represents either the future of face masks or another fashion technology flaw.
“We live in science fiction times,” Will.i.am said. The epidemic, he said, “comes straight from a fragmentary film. But we wear masks from yesterday’s movie. So I wanted to make a mask to suit the era we are in. ”
That partly means learning the sneaker class. (Well,: smartphone: sneakers and smartphone together!)
After all, what are shoes? Will.i.am said, but protective equipment for the feet. We simply forgot that this was their original purpose, as shoes became a form of self-expression.
He said that you could not “enter a mall or a restaurant or a plane without shoes”, as you would not enter any of these places without a mask. “But you should not tell anyone to wear shoes,” he said. Therefore, if you can make a mask for the same purpose (or multifunction), you will win.
Will.i.am used Zoom to talk from his Los Angeles headquarters, an area containing a sound stage, a recording studio, his “factory lab” (where he makes prototypes), and now his Xupermask team.
Will.i.am got the idea for Xupermask last March, just before his 45th birthday, when he was in Britain filming “The Voice” (he was a judge of the program for 10 years) և Europe started a deadlock to enter “I was worried I would not be able to come to America, even if I could get in because I was on a plane,” he said. So he called his hardware team and told them to work.
He was breaking into technology օգնել after helping found Beats Electronics in 2006. In 2014, he created a fashion watch called Puls Ambassadors, but none of the products really left (we can say that wearables the whole market is not exactly a rocket ship). He is not interested. He loves research and development.
“I think L means learning, not losing,” he said.
But now he has the power of Honeywell behind him; he plans to work with Xupermask on other brands of artists. (He will not give names, although he did talk about how much he loved the North Face-Gucci partnership.)
“SARS took place in Japan, in South East Asia, they overcame it, they still wear masks,” he said, suggesting that the same would be true in the West, especially since the masks seemed to help reduce flu cases.
In any case, no matter what happens on the ground, he expects aircraft masks to become the new norm. “That’s what I hear,” he said.
He must feel.