The humble desk fan wouldn't be top of many people's list when it comes to modern technology that needs reinventing, but James Dyson, who knows a thing or two about manipulating airflow, has decided that it's time to do away with those pesky blades that would seem a fundamental part of any design.

The Dyson Air Multiplier has no visible blades, instead dragging air in via a brushless motor in the base and accelerating it through the ring at the top before forcing it out through an airfoil-shaped ramp. The end result of this design, combined with air dragged into the flow from above and behind is a 15 fold amplification according to Dyson. This means it drags in 27 liters of air per second and expels more than 400.

Speeds are adjustable via a "dimmer switch" mechanism, providing more precise control than the common 1-2-3 settings found on conventional fans.

The position of the motor in the bottom of the unit lends itself to stability plus smooth, easy tilting and oscillation.

James Dyson is keen to highlight the specific benefits of the Air Multiplier over conventional bladed fans: "I've always been disappointed by fans. Their spinning blades chop up the airflow, causing annoying buffeting. They're hard to clean. And children always want to poke their fingers through the grille. So we've developed a new type of fan that doesn't use blades," said James Dyson.

In addition to this the fan is constructed of a tough thermoplastic with the same shock absorbing properties found in car bumpers, crash helmets and golf clubs. Available in 10" and 12" sizes, you're going to have to pay quite a lot for this kind of office kudos - the 10" version costs US$300 and the 12" costs US$330 - it's available from October 21.

No energy consumption details have yet been made available.