He’s done it again. Sir James Dyson, king of inventors, has transformed the way air moves in yet another everyday appliance. Not satisfied with transforming old-style vacuum cleaners (they sucked) and overhauling the design of the lowly hand-dryer (nothing but hot air), Dyson has turned his entrepreneurial eye to the table-top fan.
His new Air Multiplier is quite unlike, well, anything you’ve ever seen in the air-blowing market. Air is sucked up from the heavyweight base (which also stabilises it) then moves around the big loop, drawing in surrounding air. (That's thanks to an effect known as inducement, for those among you with a passing interest in physics.) It thus multiplies the force of the air-sucking mechanism by a factor of 15, nigh-on-magically.
Dyson explains the advantages of his new model as avoiding the ‘annoying buffeting’ effect of normal fans: the way they chop air to make it feel like a pulse hitting you rather than a constant stream. The Air Multiplier is apparently more eco-friendly, and safer, since there are no blades to chop off kiddies’ fingers. And it’s easier to clean. The inventor points out this is the first time fan technology has been properly looked at since circa 1880.
It's not cheap, with prices starting at £199. But it certainly is an impressive bit of kit.