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Japanese robotics company has developed a smart mask that can amplify voices, transcribe dictation, and translate speech into eight different languages—and they will be available to the public as soon as September. The C-Mask was designed by Japanese tech startup Donut Robotics to improve communication between airline workers and supermarket employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mask, which is Bluetooth-connected to the user’s phone, is capable of translating Japanese into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, English, Spanish, and French. The company originally developed their AI-based translation technology for their “Cinnamon” robot to assist international travelers at the airport. Since most of the nation’s airports were forced to close after the coronavirus outbreaks, the company applied their software to masks so that industry workers and healthcare providers could speak more clearly from behind protective glass barriers and face coverings. The company also hopes to expand their distribution overseas to the UK and US by April 2021.


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