Out of the many, many ways coronavirus has transformed our lives, the most visually obvious is face masks. Now, a Japanese startup has found a way to make our new travel essential double as a useful translation tool.
Donut Robotics is developing a smart face mask, called the “c-mask”, that can record conversations, transcribe them into text messages via BlueTooth, and translate them into nine languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, French, Korean, Thai, Bahasa, Spanish, and Vietnamese. It can also make calls, take down minute meetings, and amplify a wearer’s voice. In other words, it’s pretty damn useful.
So far, Donut Robotics has raised 28 million yen (approximately £208,320) to continue developing the technology through Japanese crowdfunding site, Fundinno, with an estimated release date of September 2020. “For many years, we have spent time on developing robots, and we have decided to utilise the technology to be useful in the post-coronavirus world,” Donut Robotics CEO Taisuke Ono, said in an interview with Reuters Japan.