How do you create a new design to revolutionize and change the technology around an every-day device? A technology that hasn’t had fundamental changes in decades? The Dyson Supersonic strives to blow away the competition with their new innovative design.
The design engineer James Dyson (and Dyson Company) are known for their work re-engineering everyday devices; creating bladeless fans and bagless vacuum cleaners. Many of the basic designs for these products hadn’t changed since the 1950s or 1960s. However through technological advancement, Dyson added value (and cost) to these products.
The Dyson Supersonic – re-inventing the hairdryer
Dyson has now attacked another old technology, but this time a much smaller one: hairdryers. In his quest to re-invent the hairdryer, Dyson has spent around $71 million, and has taken over four years, with 103 engineers working on their project. But what prompted Dyson to spend so much time on a hair dryer? In a press release James Dyson said:
Hair dryers can be heavy, inefficient, and make a racket. By looking at them further, we realized that they can also cause extreme heat damage to hair. I challenged Dyson engineers to really understand the science of hair and develop our version of a hair dryer, which we think solves these problems.
This new hairdryer dubbed the “Dyson Supersonic” is a quite a jump from the loud clunky hair dryers you can get at Walmart for $20-30. The Supersonic boasts a few notable improvements to both make the device more ergonomic and user friendly:
- A motor housed inside the handle, which balances the device and allows the “head” to be much smaller.
- An axial flow impeller in the motor to pull air in and reduce turbulence and shaking.
- Some motor frequencies have been tuned to outside the audible range for humans, thus reducing overall noise.
- A glass bead thermistor which measures temperature 30 times per second to prevent heat from damaging hair.
- Magnetic attachments (for ease of changing flow of the air)
Is it worth $400?
The final (and probably most important) question is; is the Dyson Supersonic worth the price? With a $400 price tag the Supersonic will come as an expensive addition to your bathroom. However, when compared with other similar luxury products such as an Apple Smart Watch or Dre Beats headphones, it isn’t shocking that this technology could demand a higher price tag. The Dyson Supersonic will be available in the US market sometime around September 2016.