‘X Masks’ Goals to Carry Face-tracking to Shoppers in Distinctive Facemask Type Issue

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Dolami, a Japanese startup primarily based each within the US and Japan, introduced it raised 100 million yen (~$730,000) this week to assist deliver X Masks to market, a singular facemask able to monitoring a person’s facial actions in VR. Whereas most of the specifics surrounding X Masks are nonetheless beneath wraps, the startup appears to have each shopper and enterprise customers in thoughts.

In accordance with a press assertion (Japanese), the funding spherical was led by a fleet of Japan-based enterprise capital, together with CyberAgentCapital, East Ventures, F Ventures, and NOW. Included within the spherical was former CEO of Anchor Japan Yoshitsune Ido, CEO of Mankind Video games Yusuke Harima, Yuji Wakabayashi, and Govt Vice President of Photosynth Co. Hiroaki Watanabe.

Dolami, which partnered with Osaka College in 2021 to develop X Masks, says it is going to use the funds to strengthen the recruitment of core members and concentrate on product growth.

Picture courtesy Dolami

There’s nonetheless so much to find out about X Masks, nonetheless the distinctive face-tracking masks is alleged to deliver “over 95% accuracy” in replicating facial actions, with face-tracking latency speeds reaching 200 milliseconds. It’s additionally stated to be pretty gentle, weighing in at 4.5oz (128g).

Since its preliminary growth in 2021, the corporate has since utilized for a world patent which can enable Dolami to market the headset in america along with Japan. Dolami is aiming to achieve a $90 worth level when it’s launched subsequent 12 months.

Picture courtesy Dolami

Granted, face-tracking will also be performed optically by the use of both built-in sensors, akin to those seen in Pico 4 Enterprise, or in add-on modules like with the Vive Facial Tracker, which may plug into HTC’s line of Vive Professional headsets. Dolami appears {hardware} agnostic in its method to this point, so it might imply we’ll see a number of headsets supported, which might give the system a wider attain than present aftermarket modules.

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Whereas X Masks is a novel method to facial monitoring, and should confer some accuracy advantages over optical strategies, one of many issues we’re hoping to see is how the corporate offers with hygiene, as anybody with a non-wipeable VR headset facial interface can testify how gross the glorified face sponges can get. It additionally stays to be seen whether or not customers even need to put on a facemask now that medical facemasks are falling out of use within the post-pandemic world.

We’re hoping to be taught extra quickly, as the corporate says it’s aiming to launch X Masks someday in 2023.

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