Startup: Coaxing The Air Into Submission

No, it’s not My First Stargate™ for Kids, but that would be cool. This is a bladeless tabletop fan, from Dyson – the same guys that gave us the bagless vacuum cleaner and the self-righteous advertising campaign. It’s not truly bladeless, the fan is in the base, sucking air into the unit where it gets blown back out from the inner rim of the hoop. The magical part is when that air moves over the inner surface of the hoop, which is shaped similar to a airplane’s wing (or aerofoil, if you want to get technical). Similar to how the wings create lift on an airplane, a combination of Bernoulli Principle and the Coandă Effect cause a lower pressure region to form in the middle of the ring, sucking air in from behind and blowing it out the front. Apparently, these things move 15 times more air through the hoop than goes through those intake vents on the bottom. Sounds amazing – I would love to hear from anyone who’s got one or at least seen on in action, because it sounds a bit too good to be true. For all I know, standing in front of one of these things is like getting sneezed on by a gerbil. For now, I have to make do with this silly video. I’m sure it was fun to make, but at a starting price of $300 a pop, it was also crazy expensive.

[youtube width=”640″ height=”400″][/youtube]

  • P161911

    I've seen one of these in a store. For a $280 (~3000%?) increase in price they offer maybe a 25% improvement over a standard $20 fan.

  • tiberiusẅisë

    They have them at Bed Bath and Beyond. Fun to look at and play with in the store but they make a Vornado fan look like an absolute bargain.

  • These are the Macintosh of the fan world. Somewhat improved over the competition, but way too expensive to justify.

  • domino_vitali

    for $300 i can find a couple manslaves with palm fronds to fan me.

    • BlackIce_GTS

      150$ each is way too much to pay for palm fronds.

  • OA5599

    They are not intended for cooling. They are intended for being cool.

    If you don't think it's worth $300 to impress your friends for about two minutes, you probably don't reside in a high enough tax bracket.

    • In my tax bracket I accomplish this with $300 cars. Totally worth it.

      • Alff

        I find your collection impressive.

  • Charles_Barrett

    Thank you for explaining how these things work…! Without bothering to actually do any research on the subject, I was wondering if it was some piezoelectric motion on the hoop's inner surface or some such. Now I know that there ARE fans in the base, so if you think this is a truly fanless design, you are mistaken.

    So much for a solid-state fan with no moving parts…

    • The Professor

      Yes, listening to the commercials, they make you think there is no fan at all. Dyson stuff is usually pretty good, if a bit pricey. This thing is ridiculous.

      • P161911

        I do have a Dyson vac and really like it. One of the really nice things about it is that it is easy to disassemble. This is really useful when something jams or breaks. Lots of easy snaps or quick releases, only a few screws.

        • I like our Dyson as well. I like it for the same reason Dearthair likes his Macs: it does its job and it does it well.

          And it was free! (Paid for with gift cards from our wedding.)

          • I looked into a Dyson when we were vacuum shopping. Consumer Reports thought that the Dyson vacuum was a "not bad" option, but way overpriced. I believe their quote was "their claim that it doesn't lose suction as it fills is true, but it doesn't have remarkable suction to begin with."

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    This makes me wonder. In my old car I get a great breeze when I open the windows. In the minivan it's not a good. I wonder what exactly is going on here. My dad kept telling me it's some lower pressure thing, now I think he was just saying that cause he saw one of these in a store, but he was adamant that as my brick of a car goes through the air you get a higher pressure out side than inside and the air comes in. But then soon it would equalize at constant speed, right?

    • I think it has more to do with the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Some lend themselves due to their shape to 2-at-55 AC, while others (generally newer cars) seem to pass the air right past with only an annoying buffeting sound.

  • chrystlubitshi

    I have played with the display models at a couple of stores… i'm not very impressed… I mean… sure they're quiet.. but you know what else? I would much rather hear the white noise of a fan than many of those other annoying daily sounds around the house… also… I'm much more impressed by the dyson airblade hand-dryers than the fans or vacuums.

    • I have to say that discovering an Airblade-equipped public restroom is like a little candy reward for having to perform bodily functions amongst a bunch of same-gender strangers.

      • pj134

        "Dammit, is Tanshanomi licking the hand dryers again!?!"

    • My wife used to insist that we take this cheap, little fan we bought at Ace Hardware with us whenever we traveled, specifically because it has the perfect pitch and volume of white noise to block out annoying motel noises.

      Fortunately, she recently got an iPhone and there's an app for that.

      • P161911

        I just leave the bathroom fan on in the motel room. 90% of them have a really loud fan, if not just cut the HVAC unit on fan only.

    • chrystlubitshi

      one more thing… i enjoy the impending doom of a spinning ceiling fan over my bed… call me "out of touch with the Feng-Shui lifestyle" and i'll accept the compliment… also…. who doesn't like waking up with fuzzy memories of the Apocalypse Now ceiling fan scene (couldn't find the video (read "i'm too lazy to actually find it)) with the Doors' "this is the end" playing….

    • name_too_long

      The ones I've seen on display weren't even quiet. Don't know how long they'd been running, could have just been worn out (which wouldn't say much for durability), but they had a high pitched buzzing which was annoying in a loud retail space.

  • P161911

    My favorite piece of Dyson BS is their "Liquid Steel". My vacuum came with a little tags that reads: "As liquid steel flows into the mold, a metallic vein naturally occurs. these grades of ABS and polycarbonate are two of the strongest materials available."

    As an engineer that designs injection molded plastic parts I know good and well that is just a knit line due to crappy mold design.

    • When our injection-molding subsidiary changes the color plastic they're shooting, they scrap the beginning of the run until they stop looking like "liquid steel."

  • I'm pretty sure, from the product description that these (the smaller ones, anyway) are bladeless fans, truly. Swamp coolers, too. I don't need one of these, but I still want one.