Dyson AirBlade Tap Hand Dryer: Throwing in the towel

Dyson-AirBlade-Range

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.

Dyson-Airblade-Tap

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

simplehuman sensor bins and sensor pumps

We were invited to the Good Housekeeping Institute to play with some of simplehuman’s latest innovations and to develop a serious inferiority complex over the state of our kitchens.

simplehuman first caught my eye a few years back with their sensor bins. I’d be hard pushed to call a bin beautiful but there is a real elegance to the fingerprint-proof design of the sensor bin and it’s an incredibly stylish way to spend £275. Unfortunately it’s also a £275 bin which, on my humble salary is like throwing money away (you see what I did there. I should be paid more).

simpehuman-sensorbin

Fortunately simplehuman have released a sensor bin for the people – or at least people with £100, which is a lot more in-line with other bins in the elegant mid-range category (yes there is such a thing).

simplehuman bins use touch-free multi-sense technology. It’s pretty clever stuff and it’s designed not to pop up unless you really want it to. I tried sneaking up on it or walking casually past the bin and at no point did it react to my presence unless specifically called up. The magic powering this lid is found in an easy-to-access compartment round the back which houses 6 alkaline C batteries (the sort you’d see in a heavy duty torch), which they assure me have been optimised to last a year.

The innovation doesn’t stop with the attention grabbing sensor. There’s also a pretty clever integrated trim ring to hold everything in place, a clutch system to prevent motor jams should you tamper with the lid and fingerprint-proof stainless steel finish.

simplehuman-sensor-pumps

simplehuman have also worked their sensor technology into a range of sensor pumps. I saw some brushed nickel sensor pumps, some compact sensor pumps and a colourful children’s range – all carefully designed with clever valves to avoid messy drips or clogs. There is a smart looking brushed nickel sensor pump which retails for £39.99 and a more affordable compact sensor pump for just £29.99 both available from [simplehuman.co.uk] (www.simplehuman.co.uk)

Logitech Washable Keyboard K310: Cleaning addicts of the world rejoice!

We’ve all been there… A nervous twitch when the company director comes to introduce himself – or perhaps even more nerve-racking herself – to you for the first time, causing a cup of boiling hot coffee to get nervously tipped over, irretrievably damage the computer keyboard. Or the kids drinking orange juice precariously close to your laptop and by the time you go to move it, it’s too late, sticky, gooey juice churning its way into every orifice your keyboard cares to have.

k310-washable-keyboard

These “nightmarish” potentialities of eternally damaging a keyboard could be eradicated forever with the Logitech Washable Keyboard K310.

Whether it’s a light dusting so that your keyboard’s in keeping with your shiny and dust-free computer room, or, for real cleaning addicts, a full dousing under the tap in the kitchen sink, the Washable Keyboard K310, with its barrage of drainage holes, laser printed and UV coated keys, is able to withstand up to an eleven inch submerge in water.

Asides from being washable, easy to dry and ultra-durable, Logitech’s latest keyboarding marvel is designed with comfortable typing in mind. How can a keyboard be ‘comfortable’ you may ask? Well the K310’s familiar layout means that users don’t spend precious minutes perplexedly searching for the ‘@’ key or blindly stumbling around to find the backspace. Being a full-sized keyboard that includes a number pad, K310 users don’t have to fumble about typing on inadequately sized keys and having ultra resilient keys that can withstand, Logitech informs, up to five million keystrokes, you can pound away at your keyboard without the fear of keys becoming loose and flying off.

Hot keys are a convenient component of modern keyboards, which, so long as you’re aware of them, can save you a significant amount of time. With twelve hot keys providing users with instant access to necessities such as volume, email and the internet, the K310 means you can access your most heavily frequented applications with a single keystroke.

So is a washable keyboard that is equipped with hordes of drainage holes and ultra hard-wearing keys stylish and aesthetically pleasing to the eye? Well Logitech assure us that with its thin profile and contemporary design, its newest keyboarding venture is sleek and good-looking, and so who are we to argue?

The Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 is expected to be available from October 2012 costing £34.99.

Keep those flu viruses away with ECO DD322FW Dehumidifiers

This winter there are apparently more flu and viral strains than ever before. It’s bad enough to have to put up with contagion during commuting let alone getting infected when you’re in the comfort of your own home. So why not make sure you don’t give them a chance to get near you by installing a dehumidifier.

Dehumidifier

During the dehumidifier season from September to March when the temperatures are low, dampness can be a prime cause of bacterial infection and EcoAir produces a range of domestic dehumidifiers which greatly reduce dampness in the home, whilst the built in silver ion filters will snatch up those air borne bugs before you get the chance to breathe them in. The filter also happily goes on to control the growth of spores and viruses which theoretically will help prevent illness, allergies and anyone beset by breathing difficulties.

There is an added bonus to using the ECO DD322FW dehumidifier because with less moisture in the air, a room will heat up much quicker, so you can look forward to lower fuel bills this winter too.

Sally Fok from EcoAir comments: “This new type of dehumidifier really does offer so many benefits at the flick of a switch. It’s thought around a fifth of all homes in the UK suffer with damp and condensation which has been made worse in recent years by the increasing use of modern appliances and new building techniques. These new products are really simple to use, cost-effective and eco-friendly too.”

The range is capable of extracting from 7 to 10 litres of moisture a day at temperatures of between 1 and 40C

The ECO DD322FW range starts from £129 and are available from www.ecoair.org

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush: The iPhone of toothbrushes

I love technology crammed where you wouldn’t normally think to put it. One of my favourite things I came across last year was a fridge with a built-in, internet-connected touchscreen. That is all kinds of awesome as far as I am concerned. So when I heard that Philips were applying their technological might to the humble toothbrush I was eager to find out more. The toothbrush is an amazing invention (they tried to honor the inventor of the toothbrush by putting up a plaque but habit kicked in and he had it removed), so any innovation in that field is welcome.

Philips-Sonicare-DiamondClean-Electric-Toothbrush

Philips sent me a review unit to trial and then keep (and they assured me that my unit had been in no other mouths but mine)The first thing that strikes you about the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush is the design of the unit – it’s incredibly sleek and matte white. Although the DiamondClean sports 5 cleaning modes (Clean, White, Polish, Gum Care, Sensitive), it’s not immediately apparent how to access them as there is just one subtle looking button for power. However after you turn the unit on you the cleaning mode is illuminated in nice neat letters and you can cycle through them using the power button. Little touches like this let you know you are using a premium device and with the understated, elegant design the DiamondClean is clearly the iPhone of toothbrushes.

The smooth unit doesn’t have any inputs for a charger which seems curious at first. Then you realise that through some ungodly magic Philips have enabled you to charge the DiamondClean simply by placing it in the supplied rinsing glass (There’s a little stand that you place under the rinsing glass and plug into a power unit.) The supplied rinsing glass can also be used for rinsing. I don’t often give standing ovations in my bathroom but when I worked this out I involuntarily started clapping. It’s very clever stuff. The DiamondClean aslo comes with a USB charging travel case so you can take your toothbrush on the road and plug it into your laptop. Expect a few stares.

But how is it to clean your teeth? Lordy. If you’ve ever wondered what having your teeth sandblasted might feel like, you should really try the DiamondClean. And I mean that as a compliment. I’ve used electric toothbrushes before but few have come close to the intense workout that the DiamondClean gives your mouth. You can also get the DiamondClean to drop you in the shallow end as there’s a setting that gently ramps up the intensity over the first 14 settings. The DiamondClean brush heads have diamond-shaped, medium stiffness bristles to effectively yet scrape away plaque and the uniquely angled brush head neck makes it easier to reach back teeth so it’s doing everything you’d expect.

If you already carefully brush all four quadrants of your mouth for the Dental Professional recommended 30 seconds each then well done. If like me however you’ve been winging it all these years, you’ll be pleased to know that the DiamondClean features an integrated timer that vibrates when it’s time to head to the next section.

I’m not a Dental Professional by any means. But I know my mouth certainly feels cleaner after using the DiamondClean. Check it out at Philips for more details.

The Sonicare Diamondclean toothbrush is out now from Philips with a RRP of £250