Talking Tech: High-tech masks, low-priced smartphones and 'Zoom zombies'

Brett Molina, USA TODAY
·2 min read

Would you put nearly $300 of tech on your face?

Earlier this week, we saw musician Will.i.am unveil his Xupermask, a collaboration with Honeywell promising a secure fit while adding some advanced perks such as a HEPA filtration system, earbuds with magnetic docking and noise cancellation. The price: $299.

Meanwhile, the video game hardware company Razer said its prototype face mask called Project Hazel – with N95 medical-grade respirator protection, a built-in microphone and amplifier and internal lights to illuminate your face – is going into production.

And this might be just the beginning. The Wall Street Journal reported last month of a new wave of masks coming with sensors and other features that could potentially kill viruses before you breathe them in.

Would you upgrade your cloth mask or disposable face mask for something more sophisticated? Let us know!

What else happened in tech

How will entertainment look after COVID? Hint: we're still going to be streaming a lot.

Don't want to spend $1,000 or more on a phone? Samsung has some new alternatives.

Mind games. Neuralink, the company from entrepreneur Elon Musk that's making brain implants to help people with serious injuries, released a video which appears to show a monkey playing the video game "Pong" with its mind. Science-fiction comes to life.

Are you a 'Zoom zombie'? A recent survey and analysis from Root Insurance claims all that time spent on video chats is causing us to become more distracted while driving.

What else we're reading

Got any old VHS tapes lying around? They might be worth money. According to The New York Times, there is high demand for older VHS tapes. One example cited in the report: a rare VHS copy of "The Little Mermaid" listed on Etsy for $45,000.

Game break

Oh, it's not just old VHS tapes that are worth thousands of dollars. An unopened copy of the 1986 video game "Super Mario Bros." for the Nintendo Entertainment System sold at auction for $660,000.

This week in Talking Tech

On Talking Tech, we discussed the futures of streaming and high-tech masks, sleeping with the Google Nest Hub, and the return of "Pac-Man."

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Talking Tech: High-tech face masks, low-priced phones and more