There are two ways in which product designers can be game changers. Etiher they can introduce a new, unexpected model that takes the market in a brand new direction or they can apply their technological and innovative nous to an existing type of product and blow the competition away. It’s this second route that best describes James Dyson’s new project unveiled today in London. Building on his previous success with hand-dyers, he has taken on the all-in one tap and hand dryer which up until now has usually comprised a dribble of water followed by a waft of tepid air not dissimilar to a kitten’s burp.
A team of 125 Dyson engineers have been working on the new V4 motor for 15 years and it’s now at the heart of three new products, at a total cost of £40 million. James Dyson said: "The Dyson digital motor self-adjusts 6,000 times a second to maintain optimum efficiency to create high velocity sheet of air that dries hands quickly and hygienically” and its most impressive manifestation is in the Airblade Tap Hand Dryer, which – I can personally verify – scrapes the water of your hands in a matter of seconds.
There’s a host of stats around the launch but maybe the most impressive is that the new model produces 67 per cent less carbon dioxide than traditional hand dryers, and 62 per cent less than paper towels. Dyson also unveiled the souped-up Airblade using the new motor and launched a mini version – the Airblade Mark V – 60 per cent smaller than its predecessor.
It’s great to see Dyson still practicing what he preaches and investing in design and technology at a time when the economy is still struggling.