A Japanese mask that translates into eight languages

Japanese startup Donut Robotics' c-mask and its mobile phone application is pictured during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan, on June 23, 2020. Photo by REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Tokyo, Japan — A Japanese robotics startup invents a smart mask that has the ability to translate into eight languages.

A Japanese startup Donut Robotics spotted an opportunity to create smart masks as it is an essential thing during the ongoing pandemic Covid-19.

The company created a smart mask that has high-tech upgrade to standard face coverings, and is designed to make communication and social distancing easier.

With the help of an app, the C-Face Smart mask has the ability to transcribe dictation, amplify the wearer’s voice, and translate speech into eight different languages.

The cutouts visible in the front side of the mask is vital for breathability, so the smart mask actually doesn’t offer protection against the coronavirus. Instead the Donut Robotics CEO Taisuke Ono explains that it is designed to be worn over a standard face mask.

The smart mask is made of white plastic and silicone with an embedded microphone that connects to the wearer’s smartphone via Bluetooth. The languages the system can translate are between Japanese and Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, English, Spanish and French.

Donuts Robotics had first developed the translation software for a robot called Cinnamon. However, due to the pandemic, the robot project was put on hold and the team’s engineers came up with the idea to use their software in a face mask.