Decision time? Read Gizmag's latest product comparisons

Dyson expands Airblade line of hand dryers

By

February 4, 2013

Dyson has expanded its Airblade line with the Airblade Mk2, Airblade Tap and Airblade V

Dyson has expanded its Airblade line with the Airblade Mk2, Airblade Tap and Airblade V

Image Gallery (21 images)

With the introduction of its Airblade in 2006, Dyson broke the mold for hand dryers by providing a device that actually dried a person’s hands in timely fashion. The Airblade has proven a huge success for the company, picking up numerous awards and saving untold thousands from soggy handshakes. Dyson has now expanded its Airblade line with three new models powered by what the company calls one of the world’s smallest and fully integrated 1600 W motors.

Taking 10 years and more than US$40 million to develop, Dyson’s new digital motor that sits at the heart of the new dryers relies on a bonded magnet encased in a carbon fiber sleeve. The company says that using digital pulse technology, the motor is able to accelerate from 0 to 90,000 rpm in 0.7 seconds and generate enough power to shift 30 liters of air per second. With the motor from the previous Airblade also found in Dyson's Air Multiplier fan, it's a pretty safe bet that the new motor will also feature in new fans in the not too distant future.

Airblade Mk2

The Airblade Mk2

With a diameter of 85 mm, the new brushless DC motor is one of the reasons Dyson has been able to shed 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) of material from the new Airblade Mk2. Like its predecessor, the Mk2 scrapes water from both sides of the hands at the same time to dry hands in 10 seconds without needing to heat the air.

The unit also passes the air through a HEPA filter to capture 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses, and is HACCP approved as being hygienically safe for use in the food and beverage industry. The new model also packs six Dyson-designed Helmholtz silencers to cut the noise emitted from the dryer. Dyson claims it also produces up to 72 percent less CO2 emissions than some other hand dryers and up to 68 percent less than paper towels.

Airblade V

The Airblade V dries one side of the hands at a time

While the Mk2’s lineage is apparent at a glance, the Airblade V appears more like a brother from another mother. Instead of drying both sides of the hands simultaneously, the Airblade V only does one side at a time. Despite this, Dyson still claims a 10 second drying time with the added benefit of a recess-free install thanks to its 4-inch (10 cm) depth. The Airblade V also features a HEPA filter and offers touch free operation by detecting hands using a capacitance sensor.

Airblade Tap

The Aiblade Tap washes and dries hands

The Airblade Tap sees Dyson branching out into washing by doing something previously unheard of – combining the tap and hand dryer into the one unit. Again offering touch-free operation, the Airblade Tap uses infrared sensors to detect whether the hands are positioned for washing or drying and reacts accordingly – either releasing water from the central tap stem or issuing two high velocity sheets of air from the tap branches.

The minimalist design is accomplished by housing the system’s key components under the sink, which may be part of the reason the drying time blows out to 12 seconds for this model. Like its siblings, the Airblade Tap also uses HEPA filters.

Dyson says the washing/drying combo setup provides a number of advantages, including preventing water dripping on the floor as the user moves from the sink to the hand dryer. The combination also reduces the amount of floorspace needed in public washrooms, potentially providing the opportunity to install additional cubicles.

Given that Dyson estimates savings starting at around US$185 a year in running costs when compared to other hand dryers, and savings of over $2,000 a year compared to paper towels, the company will likely find plenty of takers for its new Airblade models despite the high upfront cost.

The Dyson Airblade Mk2 will retail for £650 (US$1,024) for the white finish and £800 (US$1,260) for the aluminum model, while the white Airblade V will go for £500 (US$788) and £520 (US$820) for the nickel finish. The Airblade Tap, which Dyson points out means no need to buy additional taps, retails for £1000 (US$1,575).

Source: Dyson

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
Tags
7 Comments

Combining a hand drier with a tap isn't new- the Wallgate was a combined inset wall-mounted sink, tap, soap dispenser, and hand drier in one unit. It was awful- it didn't give you enough time to actually wash your hands properly (let alone rinse off the soap), and didn't give you enough time to dry your (soap covered) hands either.

The problem with the existing Airblade (and the Airblade Mk2) is that it is very easy for the hands to come into contact with the walls of the unit- spreading germs, and if the unit is mounted too high, difficult for small children or disabled people to use. Other high-speed driers (using a more conventional profile) do not suffer from this design fault.

The other issue with Dyson products is whether Dyson will stock spares to help this product live a long and useful life- Dyson introduced a hideously ugly and unique washing machine a few years ago with contra-rotating drums, which was (as expected) a sales flop, and was not reliable. Dyson stopped manufacturing both the washing machine and spares to keep existing ones running- leaving customers who had shelled out a lot of money for one not being able to get spares for them.

bergamot69
5th February, 2013 @ 03:41 am PST

Dyson broke the mold did they? They definitely dry hands but I doubt they fight the fungus.

Suckemnsee
5th February, 2013 @ 05:26 am PST

A loud, useless joke - wherever in the country I see them. And that nice warm air they're blowing on your hands? You know where it was a minute ago . . .

Yes, I have patents on commercial towel and tissue dispensers!

McDesign
5th February, 2013 @ 08:12 am PST

"With the introduction of its Airblade in 2006, Dyson broke the mold for hand dryers by providing a device that actually dried a person’s hands in timely fashion..."

Really? I think the Excel Xelerator beat them to that punch by a few years.

Joseph Manske
5th February, 2013 @ 08:28 am PST

I like the Dyson blade dryer. I'd like it even more if it encorporated a UV bacteria killer in it to keep the inside clean when not in use.

KMH
5th February, 2013 @ 09:05 am PST

For heaven's sake, why is everybody hell-bent on killing every bacterium. We have a generation of children growing up with no immunity because their mothers have wiped every surface and sprayed every air space with disinfectant. No wonder there are so many allergies and people getting sick if you just breathe on them. So what if the hand dryer hasn't got a UV bacteria killer, I'll bet my hands are cleaner than they will be after I turn the door knob to exit the washroom and certainly cleaner than when I use them to spread the cow manure on the garden.

yawood
6th February, 2013 @ 02:56 am PST

I was using the Mitsubishi Jet Towel in Japan in 2003, and I suspect Dyson was too.

Clare Love
21st February, 2013 @ 08:46 pm PST
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 28,706 articles