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Bengaluru, NFAPost: Japanese startup Donut Robotics has developed an internet-connected “smart mask” -that can transmit messages and translate from Japanese into eight other languages.

The development comes at a time when globally the tentacles of Covid-19 is spreading. Even though Japanese has less number of cases in COVID-19, due to ,most of were using the face mask since ages.

The white plastic c-mask fits over standard face masks and connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone and tablet application that can transcribe speech into text messages, make calls, or amplify the mask wearer’s voice.

Japanese startup Donut Robotics’ CEO Taisuke Ono wears a c-mask as he demonstrates the connected face masks messaging function with his chief engineer, Takafumi Okabe, during a demonstration in Tokyo on Tuesday. The photo is taken from The japan Time and Photo Credit REUTERS

“We worked hard for years to develop a robot and we have used that technology to create a product that responds to how the coronavirus has reshaped society,” said Taisuke Ono, the chief executive of Donut Robotics.

At about $40 per mask, Donut Robotics is aiming at a mass market that did not exist until a few months ago, as per Wionews. Donut Robotics’ first 5,000 c-masks will be shipped to buyers in Japan starting in September.

Donut Robotics’ engineers came up with the idea for the mask as they searched for a product to help the company survive the pandemic. When the coronavirus struck, it had just secured a contract to supply robot guides and translators to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, a product that faces an uncertain future after the collapse of air travel.

Donut Robotics’ first 5,000 c-masks will be shipped to buyers in Japan starting in September, with Ono looking to sell in China, the United States and Europe, too.

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