New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
BRIT Awards 2021 headline sponsor Mastercard has created the first ever audio connected LED face mask that interacts and illuminates in response to music and environmental sounds in real time.
The development comes after research commissioned by Mastercard found that after a year of wearing face masks, 38% of UK adults are ready to transform the mundane mask through the addition of new technology.
Of these people, some of the advancements they would like to see include transparent masks to aid people who are hard of hearing (65%) and a colour code system indicating when a replacement may be required (39%).
This follows on from a quarter (24%) of Brits are concerned about feeling disconnected when socialising at venues once they reopen due to having to wear masks.
However, it seems that the nation is adapting to the protocol of wearing masks as nearly a fifth (17%) of Gen Z and Millennials like to wear them to make a statement by choosing a unique design that looks good on them and matches their outfit. This is particularly apparent amongst this younger generation with 14% saying their mask is a reflection of their personality.
Mastercard gave exclusive first access to Jack Whitehall to try out the new features on the pioneering face mask. Jack said: "I can see this interactive face mask becoming a must have accessory. People want to get back to normality and find ways to enhance their experiences without compromising on safety or style. The limited-edition masks are a huge step up from the average face mask; I love the way that the lights flash and react to music and even my voice. They give people a priceless opportunity to share the music they're listening to in everyday settings when out shopping, on public transport or at music venues."
British artist Hamzaa said "This face mask that Mastercard created is so lit (pardon the pun LOOL). I am so ready to wear this when I'm out and about of course when it is safe to do so. Like so many others, I've missed that feeling of live music and the connection we feel when the lights go up and the music is blazing! I think the way this LED face mask lights up and interacts to sound will remind people of that special feeling and bring back that essence of a good night out!"
Working alongside wearable technology pioneers, CuteCircuit, Mastercard has combined peoples' passions for tech, music, and fashion to create these unique limited edition face masks - perfect for music events and the every day. The priceless mask, designed to elevate each user's experience, features 8x8 micro-LED lights with 64 pixels that react to music and surrounding environmental sounds. The mask is fully rechargeable and the lights are activated by a simple button.
Woolrich, Head of Marketing and Communications, UK and Ireland, Mastercard said: "Face masks have become a feature of our everyday lives and may be for some time to come. By implementing interactive technology into face masks, Mastercard has made the exciting step of marrying music and technology to bring fans closer to music and each other in a new and Priceless way."
Of the Brits who are planning to go to live events following the pandemic, Millennials (61%) and Baby Boomers (58%) are most excited to watch live bands. When music lovers were asked to select from a list of popular songs they are most looking forward to hear live, the three that came out on top were BRIT Awards nominee Dua Lipa's Levitating, followed by Harry Styles' Watermelon Sugar and The Weekend Save Your Tears*.