Sir James Dyson has built a company reputation based on pride of engineering quality focused on everyday objects, taking them to the next level of features and functions, supported all the more by sophisticated promotional copy and attractive presentations. The Dyson beat goes on.
His teams rethink cleaning, lighting and now the latest innovative rethink comes in the form of a hair dryer. Alex Zaharov-Reutt said on Wednesday in iTWire that the company founder, Sir James Dyson, unveiled his new innovation at a special media event in Tokyo.
The company is indulging happily in tech talk about the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer and how they designed it in such a way that they rebalanced the dryer's weight and shape. The motor is small and compact; Dyson engineers embedded it in the handle. The 618 g dryer's dimensions are 245 x 78 x 97 mm (H x W x D).
The main conversation surrounding the hair dryer has a lot to do with its intelligent heat control—addressing a key sore point among consumers that hair dryers are the one item they hate to love—and, after looking in the mirror some mornings to see brittle hair staring back at them—love to hate.
Constant, frequent use of hair dryers can strip hair of shine, aggravated by the device's extreme heat. "If you overheat the hair, you get water bubbles in the cortex exploding and blasting holes in the fibers, which gives you a dull look and damaged hair," Dyson told the BBC.
With the new Dyson product, "The exit airflow temperature is measured 20 times a second, and regulated by a microprocessor. Heat is controlled intelligently, helping to prevent extreme heat damage." Andrew Liszewskil in Gizmodo wrote about the safety factor, in protecting hair.
"Dyson has also made the Supersonic safer to use in other ways, particularly when it comes to heat. To prevent burns, sensors monitor the heating elements in the head 20 times every second to ensure a constant temperature is maintained—automatically shutting the unit down should it get too hot."
The other feature about this dryer rethink is the noise factor—you would not have any reason to complain about its noise. This is an especially attractive feature for professional stylists who have to talk above the steady din of multiple hair dryers when dealing with their clients.
Dyson's pitch talked about a 13-blade "axial flow impeller balanced inside the handle, spinning at up to 110,000 times per minute"—with one inaudible frequency and iTWire had more details.
"Dyson explains that a team of its 'aero-acoustic engineers sought to understand how the acoustics of this machine could be optimised.'
'By using an axial flow impeller inside the motor they have simplified the pathway of the air reducing turbulence and swirling. By giving the motor impeller 13 blades instead of the usual 11, Dyson engineers pushed one tone within the motor to a sound frequency beyond the audible range for humans.'
'Also, because the motor is small and compact Dyson engineers have been able to embed it in the handle, surrounded by acoustic silencers to further reduce sound. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is engineered to be quiet, without compromising on speed.'"
BBC technology reporter Chris Foxx said basically we are looking at a "miniaturized air pump in the handle,using the same airflow principles as Dyson's desk fan products."
For hair dryer users less concerned about fashionable styling and more about the convenience of drying wet hair off quickly after a shower or bath, Dyson's dryer has an edge in fast drying options.
"Drying shouldn't take forever," said the Dyson website, and the dryer has three precise speed settings.What is more, the dryer's motor V9 is on average six times faster than other hair dryer motors, said the company. There is space in the head for "Air Multiplier" technology for triple airflow for fast drying.
The dryer has four precise heat settings: 100°C fast drying and styling; 80°C regular drying; 60°C gentle drying; and 28°C constant cold.
Last but not least note about this new dryer is its price. The dryer has a £299 price tag. According to the BBC, that makes it "at least twice as expensive as salon-grade dryers made by rival manufacturers."
Dyson had a number of responses to that price. "We all spend 20 to 30 minutes every day doing our hair, so you use it an awful lot," he said in the BBC report. Also, from a self-care point of view, not damaging your hair, he added, is worth a lot of money.
"I don't mind if I only sell 100 a year," according to the BBC, "as long as those 100 people think it's really good. I wouldn't make much money but that's not always the point. That's not what drives us, that's not what makes it exciting."
Some reports said that US customers can look forward to the Supersonic in September.