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Huami working on new N95 masks that ensure smooth face unlock on phones

Part of a project called Aeri, Huami’s concept face masks feature replaceable filter pad, built-in UV light, translucent frame, and a clear anti-fog cover among others.

By: HT CORRESPONDENT
Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 20:39 IST
Companies are looking for solutions to help phones recognise users when they are wearing masks (representative image) (REUTERS)

Technology companies around the world are working on solutions to optimise facial recognition as people are now wearing masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. China-based Huami has now come up with a new solution which focuses on making the face masks compatible with the existing facial recognition technologies.

According to XDA Developers, Huami has introduced a "Project uSmile" under which it is working on a new respiratory face mask with replaceable N95 filter. The product is part of a Project Aeri and is aimed at allowing users reveal their expressions even when they're wearing the mask. The company added that the purpose of the new mask isn't to bypass the facial recognition on high-end phones such as iPhone or Google Pixel 4.

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Huami has also come up with two versions of the mask. The models feature components such as replaceable filter pad, built-in UV light, translucent frame, and a clear anti-fog cover among others.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

"The face cover is clear, allowing for most of your face to be visible. Airflow is delivered through the replaceable filters on the sides of the mask. Maintaining airflow is especially important for keeping the mask clear from fog, which would block your facial features. The idea is that your face can remain visible for communicating your expressions to other people and to allow for biometric authentication to continue working," said XDA Developer in its report.

A render of the concept Huami face mask with replaceable filter (Huami)
A render of the concept Huami face mask with replaceable filter (Huami)

Right now, there's no word on the commercial availability of these face masks.

ALSO READ: Even mask-wearers can be ID'd in China, facial recognition firm says

As said earlier, companies are working to make the facial recognition technology work with face masks. It's highly unlikely any smartphone company will dilute security features to support face masks. Apple, which offers one of the most secure face recognitions, will soon allow users to switch to passcode login when they're wearing mask and the phone isn't able to recognise the face.

Apart from the phones, there's a focus on optimising the surveillance with more number of people wearing masks. Recently, Israel's Corsight AI, which has come up with a technology to recognise faces concealed by masks, goggles and plastic shields, raised $5 million.

In March, China's Hanwang Technology Ltd claimed it had developed technology that can recognise people when they are wearing masks, as many are today because of the coronavirus.

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First Published Date: 01 May, 12:21 IST

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