After all, Will.i.am says what shoes are, other than protective gear for the feet? We forgot that that was their original purpose because shoes have become a form of self-expression. He pointed out that you cannot enter a mall or a restaurant or an airplane without wearing shoes, nor are you allowed to enter any of them without a mask. “But you don’t have to tell anyone to wear shoes,” he said. Hence, if you can make a mask that serves the same purpose (or multipurpose), you win.
Will.i.am is talking via Zoom from his Los Angeles headquarters, a space with a sound stage, a recording studio, the “fab lab” (where he created the prototype) and now Now, his team Xupermask.
Will.i.am got the idea for Xupermask last March, just before his 45th birthday, when he was in the UK filming “The Voice” (he was a judge on the show for 10 years) and Europe began to fall into a stalemate. . “I was worried about not being able to go to America, and even if I could, about flying,” he said. So he called his hardware team and told them to start working.
He has embarked on technology research since helping to found Beats Electronics in 2006. In 2014, he developed a fashionable smartwatch called Puls and in 2016, he launched the Fashionable headphones that you can wear around your neck like jewelry – Naomi Campbell and Kendall Jenner used to be ambassadors – but none of the products really hit (arguably the entire wearable market isn’t quite a rocket ship). He doesn’t care. He loves research and development.
“I think L represents learning, not loss,” he said.
Now, however, he has Honeywell’s power behind him and plans for Xupermask-related collaborations with other artists and brands. (He wouldn’t name it, though he did talk about how much he loves North Face-Gucci collaborations.) And he really, really doesn’t think the mask will go away anytime soon. . Not if recent history is any indication.
“SARS happened in Japan and Southeast Asia, and they overcame it, and they still wore a mask,” he said, suggesting the same would be true in the West. Especially because masks seem to help limit colds as well. In any case, whatever happens on the ground, he expects in-flight masks to be the new standard. “That’s what I’m hearing,” he said.
He must feel.