Razer to use vending machines to distribute millions of free face masks

We heard just a few weeks ago how gaming hardware maker Razer was repurposing some of its manufacturing facilities to help produce much-needed face masks for front-line health-care workers.

Now it’s set to use vending machines to help get free masks to the adult residents of Singapore, the city-state from which Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan hails.

The company will deploy 20 of the custom-built machines at malls and other locations by June 1, the date when the island is set to ease its coronavirus-related lockdown measures, Reuters reported.

Singapore, which has seen just over 25,000 cases of the virus and 21 related deaths, recently ordered all of its citizens to wear a mask when outside.

A video (below) posted by California-based Razer shows how residents of the technologically advanced city-state can use their smartphones to obtain a mask from one of the vending machines. The process involves downloading the Razer Pay mobile wallet app, using it to collect a digital coupon in the form of a QR code, and then scanning it on one of the vending machines. Anyone without a smartphone — in Singapore data puts the figure at 10% of the adult population — will have to find another way of obtaining a mask, or make their own.

Razer said it embarked on its mask-based mission “to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to encourage the public to practice hygiene and safety.”

Responding to the crisis in March, Tan wrote in a tweet, “While there has been incredible demand for our products during this time with many staying home to avoid the crowds (and to play games), the team at @Razer understands that all of us have a part to play in fighting the virus — no matter which industry we come from.”

Razer is one of a string of firms that have repurposed production lines to produce medical gear for health-care workers battling the coronavirus. Automakers have been particularly active in this area, with Ford, for example, working with a range of partners to produce more than a million medical gowns, respirators, hoods, and face shields.

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