Dyson announce Airblade dB hand dryer, now 50% quieter

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Who doesn’t like dry hands? Dyson have been at the forefront of bathroom technology since the introduction of their iconic (and polarising) Airblade machines. Personally I’ve been waiting for James and co to unleash their version of Demolition Man’s “Three Seashells” but until that day (and it is coming), I’ve been making do with Dyson Airblade dB – which is now 50% quieter.

Noise has never been a real issue for me – I try to keep conversation in the toilet to a minimum and gushing blasts of hot air are a great way from keeping conversations about “the match” or “the trains’ from reaching my ears. I will also happily listen to Merzbow and Boredoms records. However, I don’t have small children with delicate ears – nor do I work in trade locations where noise is a real issue.

The engineers have redesigned the blades on the original Dyson Airblade hand dryer and altered the angle at which the air travels. Each machine already packs a Helmholtz silencer inside but this has been tweaked in order to reduce irritating frequencies – those resonating at 1500htz.

“But surely this will have an effect on quality?” No of course not – especially if you know Bettridge’s law of headlines. According to the man himself James Dyson said: “Powerful machines create noise. Others might decelerate their motor; reducing airflow – and therefore performance – to make machines they claim to be ‘quiet’. But by focusing on acoustic engineering, Dyson engineers ensured that Airblade is still the fastest hand dryer, but with reduced volume”.

Two sheets of high velocity unheated air travel through 0.4mm scallop-shaped (so close to three seashells!) apertures acting like virtual windscreen wipers, scraping hands dry. The scallop resemblance isn’t just a quirky design feature, but instead intended to increase the distance the two sheets of air travel. They’ve also tweaked the angle of the air exciting the machine so the colliding sheets make even less sound – finally dry hands and nuanced bathroom conversation are no longer mutually exclusive.

Check out more from their video here:

While the initial outlay is far from cheap, the running costs are much lower – the Dyson Airblade dB hand dryer is able to dry 18 pairs of hands for the price of a single paper towel (which struggled to dry a single pair).

The Dyson Airblade dB is out now with a recommended retail price of £699.99

Dyson AirBlade Tap Hand Dryer: Throwing in the towel

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Dyson invited us out to South Kensington yesterday to show off the latest results of their mad tinkering. In an era of increasingly homogenised technology it’s always comforting to be in the presence of some old fashioned engineering geniuses who make things that look how gadgets are supposed to look. The star of the show was the Dyson Airblade Tap hand dryer but there were also tweaks to the existing Airblade models that you know and have complicated relationship with.

The Dyson Airblade Tap hand dryer washes and dries hands with no need to leave the sink so no more hands dripping water across floor. Or queues to use the dryer. The sleek design looks like something robots would use to hose down and is made from 304 stainless steel – an anti-corrosion steel used for the construction of boats. It’s not just shiny, but pretty tough too and can withstand pressure that would make a conventional tap explode.

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As with all modern taps and dryers, infrared sensors are used to pinpoint hand positions and release water from the tap stem. Once hands are wet and drying is requested, integrated circuitry computes the information and activates two high velocity sheets of air on the tap’s branches. Unheated clean air is released to scrape water off hands in a process Dyson claims only takes 12 seconds. Having used the regular Airblade I’m a little sceptical although I do on balance find them faster than regular dryers.

Speaking of which the Dyson Airblade V hand dryer is now 60% smaller yet just as fast. Two sheets of high velocity air angled at 115 degrees span the width of each hand, and scrape off water in just 10 seconds. I don’t see this unit installed as much as the Dyson Airblade which is now a little lighter having lost 1.1kg of materials. It is also now HACCP approved for hygiene, so it is safe for use in the food and beverage industry.

Dyson Airblade Tap hand dryer: £999.99 All models
Dyson Airblade V hand dryer: £499.99 PC white/£519.99 Nickel
Dyson Airblade mk2 hand dryer: £649.99 PC ABS/ £799.99 Aluminium
Wiping on the back of your jeans: £000.00 Levis/Wranglers