Japan creates speech-translating 'smart mask'

This "smart mask" can translate languages

and connects to phones

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Startup Donut Robotics invented the "c-mask"

It's made of a white plastic cover

that fits over a standard mask

and connects via Bluetooth

to a phone or tablet app

It can transcribe speeches, make calls, and amplify voices

and convert Japanese into eight other languages

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) DONUT ROBOTICS CEO, TAISUKE ONO, SAYING:"It's hard to hear what customers at the cash register of supermarkets and convenience stores are saying because there are partitions to prevent droplets. By wearing this mask, it can improve these communications by transcribing the conversations on smartphones or delivering the sound of the voices."

It costs $40 per mask

The first 5,000 c-masks will be ready

for buyers in Japan in September