Smart face masks: Are Americans interested?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
January 26, 2021, 4:30 PM UTC

Even as COVID-19 vaccines start rolling out, the need to wear a face mask in public isn’t going away anytime soon. 

While that fact may be discouraging to those weary of wearing face coverings, some brands have infused tech into masks to make them more pleasant to wear. A new YouGov survey shows how receptive Americans are to the idea of Bluetooth-enabled smart masks, such as the $50 MaskFone which was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show this month. 

If price were no concern, roughly a third of Americans (34%) overall say they would be interested in purchasing such a device, which allows wearers to listen to music or take phone calls. Nearly half of Americans between the ages of 35 to 44 (48%) would be keen to purchase such a device. 

The COVID-19 pandemic shaped many of the innovations on display at this year’s virtual CES, including other tech-enabled masks. AirPop showcased a protective mask equipped with a sensor to track breathing and air quality. Razer’s Project Hazel has active ventilation and built-in microphone and speaker to process the wearer’s voice to make it less muffled. 

Methodology: The survey question, “If price were not a concern, how interested, if at all, would you be in purchasing a face mask with a built-in Bluetooth headset?” was asked of 5,628 US adults ages 18 and over. Interviews were conducted online January 18 - 19, 2021. Results are weighted to be nationally representative.

Image: MaskFone