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Dyson Bladeless Fan = $300 Marketing Gimmick for Suckers

Would you pay $300 for a hair dryer with a fancy diffuser on top?

Apparently Matt Drudge would. He's hyping the new "bladeless" fan with 'air multiplier' technology. So is the rest of the media...

For those of you who might be tempted to be the first one on the block to embrace this new technology, lemme me draw you a picture to explain what you're getting.

dyson-bladeless-fan.jpg


You don't see the water flow through a sprinkler or the blades push air through a hair dryer either; that doesn't mean they're not there.

The only "technology" this fan uses is the Bernoulli Principle which has been around since 1783.

If you doubt me, James Dyson does an excellent job of debunking himself at the 1:10 mark below.


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Comments (29)

An impeller? You don't say... (Below threshold)
apb:

An impeller? You don't say! And a big cross-section from a Holly carb...still, a neat example of the Apple-ish school of industrial design.

I don't quite understand th... (Below threshold)
Eric M:

I don't quite understand the hostility in your post. It's still a clever way to apply the principles to create broader airflow in a new, visually pleasing form. I'm not willing to spend $300 on a fan, but I know people who would spend that just for the unusual visual design, regardless of the underlying technology.

Totally takes away the fun ... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Totally takes away the fun of talking to someone through the fan blades though.

I don't get the hostility e... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

I don't get the hostility either. Ok, it's called "bladeless" when it really isn't... but the question I want to know is, does it actually give you the results advertised? If it does, it's not a bad product. It definitely gets top marks in the gadget department. $300 worth? Not really, but still neat.

This is just weird. Its a 4... (Below threshold)
thecomputerguy:

This is just weird. Its a 40 watt fan, its not an air conditioner. The way Dyson talks in the video, it replaces an air conditioner. It doesn't do that. The way fans blow never bothered me before. Most of the fans I have in my house now are those pedestal squirel cage design anyway, and they seem to be as much an improvement over the traditional bladed fan as this thing (and also consume 40 watts), but tehy don't look like a big part is missing, and don't cost 200 pounds - which is currently around $300. For that kind of money, you can buy what the British would call a proper air conditioner. If you buy a $300 air conditioner, it will weigh more than either other fan, but also have a 40 watt option called "fan only", but when you really need it to cool, you can switch it to actual A/C... which might not be nearly as green, but actually does something to cool the air, rather than just cause sweat to evaporate.

Eric, I don't know... (Below threshold)
gus Burlimah:

Eric,

I don't know if you noticed, but blogs like this contain a thin veneer of smug negativity hiding a massive inferiority complex. So easy to criticize when they've never tried to do something new themselves.

Neat concept, but I'll wait... (Below threshold)
Karl:

Neat concept, but I'll wait for the $29.95 model to come in at Wal-Mart.

If this was a truly revolut... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

If this was a truly revolutionary scientific discovery, Billy Mays would be promoting it from the grave every 20 minutes, so I'm naturally suspicious. I mean, it's not like, Orange Glow or Awesome Auger or something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrnVNZpnvRI

I think the "hostility" com... (Below threshold)
John:

I think the "hostility" comes from the fact he's charging people $300 to buy a new breakthrough "bladeless" fan that actually -you know- has blades.

Back where I come from that's called a rip-off.

At engineering school, we u... (Below threshold)
sanssoucy:

At engineering school, we used to call this kind of thing, "a solution in search of a problem."

He'll attract the same dumbheads who buy his appallingly expensive and poorly functioning vacuum cleaners.

This would be pretty good -... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

This would be pretty good - safe for kids - and as a Dyson product, you can be pretty sure it works as advertised. I'd likely get one - but the price would have to come down significantly...

Dyson doesn't claim to have... (Below threshold)
ndrwdnhm:

Dyson doesn't claim to have discovered the underlying principles, but he has applied them elegantly and thoughtfully to the desk fan.

That's the epitome of great engineering.

The tone of this blog entry is disappointing, and seems to miss the point entirely. Being so smug is rarely to anyone's benefit.

It won't be very impressive... (Below threshold)

It won't be very impressive when the S**T hits it now, will it?

Mr. Lawson, if you rush you... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Mr. Lawson, if you rush your order within the next 10 minutes, we'll send you TWO Miracle Bladeless fans for only $300.00.

If you're not completely happy, we'll refund your purchase price (less a $300 shipping and handling fee, of course).

Our operators are standing by...

It's all in the 'packaging'... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

It's all in the 'packaging'. Look for the Chinese to have a $19.95 knock-off next week.

I am sorry, I didn't HEAR a... (Below threshold)
Uncle Sam:

I am sorry, I didn't HEAR anything about noise levels caused by the BLADELESS fan. Noise or white noise for some is very irritating, if this thing is quieter than a conventional fan it might be worth a few dollars.

Our operators are standi... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Our operators are standing by... - bobdog

Better get them some chairs then - they're in for a long wait!

I think its a really good i... (Below threshold)
an oni mass:

I think its a really good idea...and it uses less energy than a conventional fan...by the way, what have you invented recently?

I hear bladeless fan and I'... (Below threshold)
DJ:

I hear bladeless fan and I'm thinking this thing was going to use something like an electrostatic mechanism to generate airflow... When in truth, it's nothing more than an electric turbocharger probably sourced from a shop vac.

I think I'll stick with my $20 Honeywell I picked up at Target.

Dyson vacuums look cool and... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Dyson vacuums look cool and they may pick up dirt well, but their filtration isn't that great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXA0N0V2uOQ&feature=youtube_gdata

From killdirt.com.

Dyson = WAY overrated

But the really important qu... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

But the really important question is what will the FTC think about this anti-endorsement?

"by the way, what have you ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

"by the way, what have you invented recently?"

Why, that last post, of course, Oni.

No, all kidding aside, this concept needs something unique to gen up some real excitement in the marketplace. Otherwise it's just an expensive fan.

Like, I dunno, being able to turn it on and off merely by clapping my hands. Or having a revolutionary new car dryer attachment for my garage to stop my car from getting all spotty after I wash it (Oh, NO! What a soapy mess!). Or maybe some new kind of disgusting sex toy.

You know, something to give it some pizzazzzz!

Being in the engineering fi... (Below threshold)
BluesHarper:

Being in the engineering field I get a kick out of stuff like this. I find myself on the wrong end of the stick this time. When I vote I see that I'm in the negative side. So this is how it feels to be a liberal. hahahahha - just kidding, maybe.

I love the mysterious/artistic look of this gadget. Hell, I just plain like gadgets. Not sure why all the negativity, except for the price, but in some cases it's the price that makes people think they are one up on the next guy. If it was cheap how wizzy could it be?

I can't say I was ever bothered by the choppy breeze of a conventional fan though. I can't see the blades nor can I feel the difference- I'll bet. I think this new fan is better looking than a bladed fan. I'm not buying the efficiency part though. I could be wrong and often am, but if you want efficient, less is more. I like the K.I.S.S. principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.

I noticed that he didn't turn it up for very long. Seemed to be noisy. I can get noisy cheaper than $300.

Cool though - no pun intended.

The "hostility" comes from ... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

The "hostility" comes from the moment the curtain is peeled back and what you get is (as others have stated) a gimmicky solution in search of a problem.

Now if Dyson shifted a couple gears - say, reduced his stratospheric price point and emphasized that "bladeless" means "no temptation for kids to be stupid with fans and risk injury" or something like that - he'd be onto something. I'd buy it if it was priced around $50 and I had small children running around.

Otherwise I'll just use common sense and put the bladed fan out of the way of kids, who are still going to be kids despite my best efforts.

I also agree that if the fan had some novel air handling system like, say, the gas version of magnetohydrodynamics, I'd pay $300 for it just for the "wow" factor. Then again, I found myself going gaga over the submarine in The Hunt For Red October as well ;)

Some people fail to see tha... (Below threshold)
Keith Rogers:

Some people fail to see that Dyson is following the Apple business model - low volume, high profit margins. Dyson is not out to appease the Wal-Mart demographic; they are out to establish themselves as a purveyor of premium goods with cutting edge technology.

Apparently, people are still paying top dollar for Dyson products, because not only have the prices for their vacuums have held steady since they launched here in the US in 2001, but they have been getting even more expensive (e.g.- The Airmuscle upright for $600, and the DC22 digital motor compact canister selling at $800). When people stop paying the prices that Dyson commands, then their prices will come down, simple as that. But in the mean time, people will still pay top dollar as long as Dyson continues to introduce intriguing new technology and products.

I don't know if you noti... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I don't know if you noticed, but blogs like this contain a thin veneer of smug negativity hiding a massive inferiority complex. So easy to criticize when they've never tried to do something new themselves.

Well, I've never tried to sodomize a Alsasian (how's that for new?), but I think I could voice some negatives about that sort of thing.


Fuck off, douche.

See, i think the awesome th... (Below threshold)
Matt C:

See, i think the awesome thing about this is the airfoil shaped ring amplifies the air produced by the internal "propeller" (read "fan"). Is the thing a magical breeze machine? Hardly. But it utilizes an ingenious design to even out the moving air and making it efficient and quiet while making it strikingly eye catching. The lack of blades does have appeals to households with small children, but anyone who uses that to justify buying it just doesn't want to admit they think its cool... Which it is

Dyson is all about marketin... (Below threshold)
bb:

Dyson is all about marketing hype to sell lousy technology. The Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner was based on 100 year old cyclonic dust extraction technology widely used in woodworking workshops. Cyclonic filtration is great for filtering large particles like sawdust and absolutely hopeless for filtering fine particles like household dust. A vacuum cleaner is also far too small to work efficiently as a cyclone filter. Anyone who needed to make 5000 prototypes is a lousy designer - 5 prototypes is ample.

This fan is also lousy technology. Existing squirrel cage fans are more energy efficient and quieter. The "amplifier' effect claimed by Dyson is utter rubbish. The air will undergo increased friction as it passes through the diffuser - this will actually reduce efficiency rather than increase it.

BTW Apple doesn't use cutting edge technology. Their computers are made under contract in China using entirely generic PC hardware. The only thing unique about Macs is their cases and operating system.

NO ONE ELSE EVER APPLIED TH... (Below threshold)
danny:

NO ONE ELSE EVER APPLIED THE 1793 PRINCIPLE TO FANS BEFORE.

NO ONE - IN 216 YEARS.

THAT'S TRULY NOVEL.

AND IT MAY VERY WELL BOOST THE EFFECTIVE AMOUNT OF AIR MOVED BY THE SMALL PROPELLER/FAN - MAKING IT MORE EFFICIENT THAN A SIMILARLY SIZED/POWERED TRADITIONAL FAN.

IT'S DEFINITELY WORTH TRYING OUT IN A STORE.

WHERE CAN THIS BE DONE IN THE USA!




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