I was doing a little work at home this morning when I heard a knock at my door. I figured it was the maintenance man here to follow up on a repair that happened yesterday, but to my surprise it turned out to be the UPS man.
He had me sign and I had an unexpected package in my hands. On my way in I saw it was from Dyson. I was a little confused because I did not order anything. I came in and opened it up and found the zero day old Dyson Air Multiplier. I really had no idea what this thing was. I saw that it was sent to George Kepnik aka "Werty" which I thought was pretty funny… for 2 reasons. One my name was spelled wrong and two, it was obviously from this website.
Well I open it up and I see I am #13 of 65 lucky people who got a free test "fan" sent to them. Inside there was a retail box, inside that there was a hand signed letter from James Dyson. That is pretty fucking awesome. After looking at the thing I decided to look at the instructions. A few seconds later it was together, and a second after that it was moving the air.
I played with it for a few moments and did some test videos to see how it actually works. Unfortunately I had to go to work and was not able to play or post about it until tonight. Today at work I looked at a few videos and listened to a talk with James Dyson. Seems like a pretty interesting guy, at least in regards to his views on engineers and manufacturing. Dyson is helping the UK put in some engineering programs for younger students to help them get into the field. That is pretty cool I think.
Anyhow back to this Air Multiplier. All over the web you can see some detailed info on how this technology works due to press releases and interviews. More or less it uses a small fan in the base of the unit, blows the air into the ring structure, over a surface like that of an airplane wing. his forces the air to combine with air from behind, as well as air from above/on all sides after it exits the ring. This is how it "multiplies" the air. They say 16x the air that goes through the base is actually moved by the rest of the unit.
Well on to the testing of it. My initial impression of it is less of the standard "oh where are the blades?". I think it looks sort of goofy and is a bit tall. I have it sitting on my counter by a stool and it could easily be mistaken for a hair dryer like you would see in a beauty salon… the type that folds over on top of your head.
After you get over that, come down to performance and functionality. I hit the power switch and was a little shocked by the sound it produced. At high speed it is a bit noisy. To me it sounds like a quieter version of their vacuums. Imagine if you had a computer fan on high speed. Then multiply that noise by 5times and you have the sound this fan makes. I was hoping the unit would be totally silent and use some sort of "over my head magic" to move the air. I guess it does use that, but it is air moving air, propelled by motors. Not something like electricity + static + magnet + magic=silent ring of wind in the face.
The amount of air it moves I think is impressive, also it does seem to provide a more gentle and constant stream of air than a traditional fan. Some say it is similar to the air moving if you had a window open, and I agree. I also think it is similar to the air that comes out of a vent if you have your furnace on. It is just a nice steady flow of air.
The oscillation built into the fan is one of the cooler parts. It seems almost robotic. It must have a separate motor for the oscillation since it is so smooth. I am thinking I have to be correct because due to some glitch mine will still oscillate w/out the unit being powered on.
As far as the price goes, I think it is a bit crazy. It is $300, and unless it makes the air cooler, warmer or cleaner, or was totally silent I think that is too much to ask. Also I think by not actually having anything I can see working I am not too impressed by it. I would love to see smoke or something go through this just so I could actually see it moving the air. Lastly I think durability will be a major issue for these. Mine had an issue with the oscillating button within 4-5 short uses and now has a mind of its own. I actually do like it as just a rotating object though.
I think it is a pretty cool thing though and wonder how the invention of it will translate into other industries if at all.
I know water has different properties than air, but I would think something similar could make efficient water pumps or "propeller-less boat motors". Also I would think something like this could be used in a car to force more air into the engine, or move a plane.
So to sum things up, I think the idea is cool, the quality of mine is questionable, the price is high, and the wow factor is pretty high. Also if you have kids, this is probably the only finger safe fan out there.
If anyone from Dyson reads this, please continue to make me a product tester, and thank you very much.
I plan on framing my letter signed by James Dyson.