When I first saw this crazy item from the Rare Mono Shop in Japan, my reaction was one of disbelief and puzzlement. It appears as though the world has run out of things to power by the low voltage USB cord, resulting in the provenance of the USB health mask. Worn over a standard filter mask (think surgery), the two mini fans on either side of the mask blow in cool air to the mask-wearer.
The USB form retails for 2400 Yen (about $21) and an AC version goes for 1270 Yen (about $10) and they will ship worldwide (gift wrapping is also available)
USB has changed or improved all of our lives. Are they claiming it might save our lives too? I spent some time trying to figure out how this things works – and why there is sufficient demand for something this ridiculous necessitating its existence. The Google translation of the website gave me some insight: “…Because season of the pollen which starts from now on, there is no ginger however the mask is attached, the steaming/evaporation … it does between the mask and the mouth, becomes stifling and, furthermore it becomes unpleasant… the air outside is sent in the mask … oral original displeasure is lightened.”
Hmmm…I see… no ginger, lots of pollen, people wear masks to avoid the pollen, masks get hot and moist, this cools your face so you can continue your work at the office. Fair enough.