More closely associated with vacuum cleaners, Dyson’s engineering prowess is being tested in new ways and, having won the battle for hygiene on the ground, Dyson’s new humidifier is on a quest to clean our air.
The Dyson humidifier is like a bigger, bolder version of its Hot + Cool fan device with the aerial-like fan but with one core difference – the fan stays still and has a large three-litre water container at its base.
It’s hard to think of Dyson as a healthcare company but, at its core, hygiene is the essence of good healthcare, so the humidifier’s work in terms of keeping the air clean and healthy around you is progressing Dyson’s original mission.
The machine, which uses Dyson’s Air Multiplier technology, has practical purposes – not only does it project clean hydrated air around the room, it can be very useful for parents of kids between six months and three years in that it combats the conditions that cause croup by cleaning the air.
Apparently we breathe 22,000 times a day, but often we are breathing in dry air and dust, not good for allergy sufferers.
In a strange way it’s also Dyson’s contribution to the beauty business – yes, beauty – in the sense that by hydrating the air people are less exposed to winter ailments like chapped lips and cold sores.
Look and feel
Like I said, the device resembles the Hot + Cool air fan only it’s bigger and dominates more space.
It eschews the uniform grey that Dyson puts on most of its machines and comes with a nice silver and white finish on its polycarbonate frame, which Dyson affectionately terms ‘loop amplifier’. You have to admire the poetic leanings of engineers, don’t ya?
While it takes up more space, the lighter colours and bigger ‘loop amplifier’ give it a stylish appearance that makes it look like it belongs in any room.
It comes with a tiny remote control that, just like with the Hot + Cool, has a magnet that allows it to balance on top of the fan.
The fan is detachable and you need to press a button to release it in order to top up the water drum – which helpfully comes with a handle to carry around for refilling.
Refilling the device is quick and easy, just turn it upside down and open a red-coloured valve and fill her up.
Switching the machine on, little blue LEDs flash wildly and there are two chief settings – one for ordinary fan and another for releasing moisture into the air.
The fan gets louder the higher the intensity you decide on but compared with most fans it’s not very loud.
The magic happens when you release the moisture into the air around you – a kind of ‘hygienic mist’ – and I have to admit I’ve found the humidifier perfect not only for cleaning the air but getting a good night’s sleep. Having slept beside the sea for many years, it’s a similar effect.
The magic behind this is Dyson’s patented technology – apparently there are 275 patents and 130 patents pending on this – and, in particular, its Ultraviolet Cleanse technology, which has five patents.
Basically, every drop of water in the humidifier is exposed twice to ultraviolet light that kills 99.9pc of bacteria in water before it enters the air.
A piezoelectric transducer in the base of the machine vibrates 1.7m times a second and breaks water into tiny microscopic particles that are then drawn up through the loop amplifier and out into the air.
The remote control comes with Intelligent Climate Control, which allows you to control both the temperature in the room and the level of moisture in the air.
Performance wise, the machine is reasonably quiet and can run for up to 18 hours on a single three-litre tank of water.
Apparently, during the testing phase, more than 643 prototypes of the device were developed, as well as 32 new test methods. More than £37.5m was spent to develop the technology.
Well, I would say every cent was well spent. The machine does not only help to keep you healthy by killing the bacteria in the air but, as I’ve discovered, it helps you to sleep well at night, which is probably not the outcome Mr Dyson had expected.
The humidifier is technologically sound in terms of the science behind it, but the Intelligent Climate Control feature is a godsend. Seriously, someone in marketing at Dyson should buy some engineers some coffee and come up with a Wi-Fi ‘internet of things’ version of the humidifier to create downloadable climate settings apps such as ‘Swiss Alps’ or ‘Iceland’ or ‘Amazon Rain Forest’… clearly I’ve been thinking on this too much and drank all the coffee.
The only downside to the machine is the fact that you have to clean it every week and month. This is essential, however, because you need to ensure the UV sensor is clear to do its job and, if you live in an area of hard water like I do, that the limescale doesn’t build up.
Ahead of Dyson’s launch of a robotic vacuum cleaner next year, it is clear that with devices like the humidifier Dyson is firing full throttle on all of its imaginative and innovative cylinders (no pun intended).
If anything, Dyson deserves credit for making something so necessary, but hitherto hard to obtain, as a humidifier accessible and actually fashionable and attractive.
The Dyson humidifier is available in Ireland at all electrical retailers and costs €699.99.