Monday, June 27, 2011

James Dyson - Inventing Solutions To A Problem No One Complained About




Why does Sir James Dyson keep improving on shit we don't have a problem with?
Dyson invented the blade-less fan which is a cool looking appliance, its like a small scale jet engine for your living room. But was there really a demand for a blade-less fan?

The only thing it improves on is the buffeting effect that bladed fans have. Which really is not a good selling point since its something that hardly anyone ever complains about. I don't think I've ever had a conversation about a fan with anyone where the "buffeting effect" was ever brought up. Of all the things Dyson could play up as a point of improvement the buffeting effect is the least impressive. The Dyson Air Multiplier (a really geeky name if you ask me) is just as noisy as a regular fan and the air temperature going through it is the same. Those are two aspects that if improved upon would actually be something to cheer about but not blade buffeting.




Don't get me wrong, the Dyson fan is a cool machine, a really cool looking machine. To see the thing generate an air breeze with no visible moving parts looks like magic. Its totally commendable to see Dyson thinking outside the box. But the Air Multiplier is pretty much in the same category as the Segway, which is a machine looking for a purpose rather than replacing an existing machine. Remember the hype the Segway had when it first came out? "It will be a new way for people to get around" they said. And like the Dyson machine, the Segway is a cool invention but they killed any chance of it becoming popular with regular people (e.g. the middle and working class) in two important common sense ways.

1. The Segway didn't have a seat. You have to stand while operating it.
2. it cost around 3000 dollars.

For that much you can get a fucking car and have seats, an enclosed space that protects you against bad weather, carrying capacity and cup holders. Other than its cool balancing mechanism there was absolutely NOTHING that the Segway does at 3000 bucks that's better than what a regular old used bicycle can do for 75. And you can sit on it.

Its  the same thing for the Dyson Air Multiplier. It costs around 300 dollars and what do you get for that kind of money? A nice breeze effect. If that's what you want then crack a door and open a freaking window. For 300 dollars the Dyson blade-less fan isn't any quieter nor does it circulate cooler air. It performs basically in the same way a bladed fan does in that it just circulates room temperature air. And technically is does have blades, they're just located in the base. Air is sucked in through the vents and is forced up into the circular part which is designed in the same fashion as an airplane wing. The air from the fan is pushed and accelerated over the ring surface and a vortex like effect is achieved which sucks in air from the surrounding environment and produces more air flow. Hence why its called an air multiplier since the small supply of air coming through the vents is multiplied 15 times as it goes through the circular structure.

And while all of that is cool, it still doesn't justify shelling out 300+ ones for the damn thing.




As you can see in comparison shopping it just doesn't make any economic sense to buy a Dyson fan. The fans run from 300 to almost 500 dollars. Again this is just a FAN. All it does is push air around the room. If its hot in the room then it blows hot air. For the price of a space age looking Dyson fan you can get about two air conditioners. Considering today's economic times, is anyone really buying these things?

With unemployment rising again, the very real threat of a double dip recession and a shrinking middle class, who can afford this completely frivolous item? Now there is a huge market for the Dyson vacuum cleaner but his type of vacuum improves on the model across the board. From suction power to ease of use and maintenance the Dyson vacuum while expensive compared to its competitors give a pretty good bang for the buck. Other than a breeze effect and being more energy efficient (but we're talking about fans for cryin out loud, how much electricity can they suck up?) there just isn't enough incentive to drop that much dough on one.

That is unless you want to do something that looks real cool...like this:



Over 3600 dollars was spend for just this part of the feat.

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