Honeywell and rapper Will.i.am just debuted a futuristic face-mask with built-in wireless earphones





I’ll be honest, nothing about that title is even remotely predictable. In fact, it gets progressively weirder with every subsequent word. You wouldn’t expect Will.i.am to release a medical product, more so, partner with Honeywell over it… but together the rapper and the OEM conglomerate collaborated over a mask that combines the best of both parties. Titled the XUPERMASK, the $299 face-mask comes with dual three-speed fans and HEPA filters, but also packs Bluetooth earphones with noise canceling audio and 7-hour battery life. I’ll be honest, the association with Will.i.am aside, the mask really looks pretty futuristic (it comes co-designed by Hollywood costume-designer Jose Fernandez, who also designed the SpaceX astronaut suits). The fact that it’s built by Honeywell lends it a good amount of credibility, and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I could actually see myself wearing one of these.

The XUPERMASK attempts at turning face-masks into a bit of a pop-culture item. It surely isn’t fluff… the mask is awaiting FDA approval, and it comes fitted with replaceable HEPA filters made by Honeywell – a company that’s built itself on designing the world’s greatest HVAC systems. The pop-culture element comes from rapper and Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am, who aims to turn the XUPERMASK into a renegade pair of wireless earphones too.

As far as the face-mask part of the design is concerned, the XUPERMASK sports a universal fit, thanks to a silicone face-seal and a high-performance elastic strap that wraps around your head. The mask is outfitted with dual-fans that work at 3-speed settings to deliver purified air directly to your face as you breathe. Air is pushed through a set of pleated HEPA filters manufactured by Honeywell, and the filters are designed to be replaced every 30 days for optimal performance. The fans themselves run for an impressive 7 hours on a full charge, providing enough usage to get you through most of your day… and to seal the deal, the mask even sports glowing LED rings around each fan for that futuristic appeal.

Aside from being just a face-mask, the XUPERMASK (pronounced Supermask, if you’re still wondering) also packs a pair of wireless earphones too. The earphones emerge from the sides of the mask, and can be docked on the mask itself on designated magnetic panels. When you want to wear them, just pop the earphones off and place them in your ear. The earphones come with Bluetooth 5.0, pairing seamlessly with any smart-device. They come with active noise-canceling (pretty impressive for a face-mask), and even house an integrated noise-reduction microphone for things like answering calls or sending voice-messages. There’s no indication of where this microphone is located, but I’d be thoroughly impressed if it was within the mask’s enclosure itself. It would essentially mean you could talk while wearing the mask and not have your voice get muffled.

The XUPERMASK comes in two colors for now – one in pure black, and another in a white + orange combination. Just visually, it does look pretty impressive. The LED rings, metallic fan covers, and those magnetic earbuds, all set the XUPERMASK apart. The mask even comes with a set of controls built on either side, allowing you to toggle fan speed, the LED light, switch on/off the ANC feature, and do basic things like answer calls or play-pause music. Off the top of my head, a fan-powered face-mask with earphones does sound like a crazy idea that might just work, and with the XUPERMASK, Honeywell and Will.i.am are betting on a future where masks will still be a common outdoor face-accessory… in which case, having wireless earphones built into your face-mask just sounds a tad bit more sensible. The XUPERMASK is currently available in two sizes, and for a retail price of $299. The mask comes as a part of a XUPERKIT (I’m guessing the nomenclature was Will.i.am’s idea), which includes a carry-case, 3 months worth of replaceable HEPA filters, a USB charging cable, and replaceable earphone tips for different ear-sizes. The XUPERMASK hasn’t received FDA approval yet, but it has been granted authorization for emergency use.

Designers: will.i.am & Jose I. Fernandez in partnership with Honeywell

These TWS earbuds integrate beautifully into their charging case to create a visual balance

With a level of aesthetics that’s comparable to seeing the Yin and Yang elements lock in to form a complete circle, the Koishi TWS Earbuds by Sjoerd Ramaker focus on visual gestalt. The headphones come with a square case that has no lid to begin with. Instead, the headphones ARE a part of the case as they snap conveniently into the sides to complete the soft, rounded square’s form.

Named Koishi, after the Japanese word for Pebble, the TWS Earphones come with a soft, pebble-inspired form that’s beautiful to look at, comfortable to store in pockets, and can even be stacked one above another as Zen Stones. They come in three stone-inspired colors, and even sport a slightly mottled stone texture. Running right through the case is a light strip that helps let you know when the earbuds are charging, or when they’re low on charge. However, it also visually guides you to instinctively know where the earphones are, so you can glance at the case and pull the earbuds out without fiddling to find them. I personally love how calming they look, and how satisfying it feels to see the earphones snap right into the case, creating a flush, complete form!

Designer: Sjoerd Ramaker

OnePlus co-founder’s ‘Nothing’ brand will launch wireless earbuds this summer

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The future of NFC includes wireless charging for earbuds and smartwatches

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Every Apple AirPods design flaw solved by these conceptual Samsung earbuds

As we adjust to this new normal, we are understanding the value of a good pair of earphones. Given that we are constantly on a video call with a co-worker/friend or isolating with roommates/family, earphones are a part of the heroes of our homes…of course, WiFi is the supreme leader of that list. Inspired by essential personal devices that help us during quarantine, Designer Felipe Duarte has created Yinyang earbuds for Samsung that are going to make you want to switch from your AirPods because it solves the major issues we face – the one-size that doesn’t fit all, the case which is an added device to charge, the bulky aesthetic, portability without the case and a charging solution if you lose the case.

The Yinyang earbuds are influenced by the duality of the millennia-old cultural concept of yin and yang. The Chinese philosophical thought behind the yin and yang is the balance between two forces that oppose and complement each other at all times. These conceptual Samsung earbuds are designed to reflect that philosophy by striking a perfect balance between user experience and portability. Yinyang earbuds are created to be the smallest in the market to that it can fit everyone (a problem I personally go through with my first-gen AirPods). The compact size will be achieved by getting rid of the ear tips.

The conceptual technology of the Yingyang earbuds that make it one-of-its-kind lies in the inflatable hook which secures the earbuds in place. It also features wireless charging and magnets on the rear end of the gadget so they can be charged on the back of our NFC-enabled cell phone, thus eliminating the need for a charging case (if there was one, I would humbly request it not to resemble a floss box). You can also kinetically charge the earbuds by keeping yourself moving (we all could use some extra steps and exercise right now!) if your phone dies. The Yinyang earbuds can also be attached to the lapel of the jacket – that is how portable they are and with the sleek aesthetic, you are upping your accessory game with your tech.

Felipe, if you are reading this, please make this happen once we are all back out in the world, thank you.

Designer: Felipe Duarte

 

Amazon’s version of AirPods will reportedly offer fitness tracking

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Charging can’t get more wireless than this

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Now that the iPhone finally joined the wireless charging bandwagon, we can finally see this space explode with products… like the Avido WiBa. Most wireless chargers aren’t truly wireless, because they do need to be connected to a power outlet, but the Avido WiBa doesn’t even need that. The WiBa is a wireless charging power bank, which means you can carry it around with you wherever you go and just snap it to the back of your phone to juice your gadget up without having to worry about cables or even power outlets! The WiBa’s 500mAh capacity lets you give your phone a full charge while a USB port on its side lets you charge a second device using a charging cable.

How do you charge the power bank then? Simple! The WiBa comes with a wireless charging dock too on which you can just place the power bank. The power bank charges wirelessly too, and you can go as far as stacking the WiBa on its dock, followed by the phone on top of the WiBa, allowing the dock to charge both the power bank as well as your device. It may look weird at first, but it’s a small price to pay to have the convenience of truly wireless charging wherever you go!

Designer: Avido

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These Truly Wireless Earphones Are the Perfect Stocking Stuffer

If you’re wondering what to get for a gadget fan for the holidays, these wireless earphones are the perfect, affordable alternative to Apple’s ridiculously pricey AirPods. These HBQ i7 Twins True Wireless Earphones are truly wireless Bluetooth 4.2 earbuds, and they’re just $29.99..

Made with a super lightweight design for supreme comfort, they’re the perfect companion for your daily commute, at the gym, or anywhere in between. Best of all, you’ll get plenty of play time per charge – the buds usually clock in at 4-5 hours, thanks to their high-performance batteries.

Listen to your music, podcasts, and audiobooks with no distractions, not even a tiny wire. The HBQ i7 Twins True Wireless Earphones are yours for only $29.99 in the Technabob Shop. Plus, you can use code GIFTSHOP15 for an additional 15%.

‘Face’ the music

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Not only are the X12 much more secure inside their case, they also look like a friendly face and eyes when open, making tech more humane and accessible. The case has a rotating lid with a semi-circular opening that aligns with the semi-circular hole in the component below to reveal the concept earphones, placed one beside the other. This completely negates chances of the lid accidentally opening and revealing the wireless earpieces, like the Airpods or the Doppler earphone cases (which have flip lids).

The case and the earphones match color beautifully and come in anodized pink, blue, and black metal finishes. The earphones have an extra brushed metal plate on them, for variation. They nestle perfectly into their casing which also acts as a charging hub for them, looking like the eyes of an innocent and friendly robot head, when the lid on the case is swiveled to open… making them instantly lovable and desirable!

Designer: ShiHua Tang

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