Dyson unveiled their new product an ?Airblade Tap?, which combines a high-speed, hand dryer with hot and cold water outlets. The Airblade Tap builds on the firm's success with its existing standalone cold air hand driers, but is more expensive at £999. But does the cost really add up?

?Out to be in everybody?s house.?

The product is to be initially targeted at restaurants, hotels, airports and sports stadia, but Sir James Dyson commented that he thought it ultimately "ought to be in everybody's house" as it was more hygienic, energy-efficient and offered long-term savings. But is this really realistic or in fact necessary in the home?

The Tap is said to last five years and the firm estimates over its lifetime it should be able to pump the equivalent amount of air needed to fill 26 million party balloons.

The machine comprises of a unit placed below the sink containing a motor, an air filter and sound-silencing equipment; a pipe that carriers the water, electrics and air to the tap; and a stainless steel head unit from which the water flows and unheated air jets out at 430mph (692 km/h). The Infrared sensors detect where the user's hands are - if placed under the tap's centre water comes out, if under its sides the air nozzles are triggered.

Dyson say it take just 12 seconds to dry your hands. But Tech website Wired, which tested the device, reported a drying time of 13 to 14 seconds. The went on to say ?the main benefit was that the washing and drying operations both took place over the washbasin, meaning water would not be blown onto the bathroom floor.?

The Dyson hand dryers also use high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) air filters to remove 99.9% of bacteria from the air in a bathroom before it is blown onto the user's hands. So it is safe to say the product is more hygienic than using ordinary dryers.

?Unless there was a radical price drop its appeal was likely to be limited??

Furthermore, I do agree the Airblade Tap is ?greener? than using hand towels, where less energy is wasted on cost for recycling towels and the amount of hand towels used is not monitored. But the initial cost is the worrying factor in my opinion. When companies like Hyco, Warner Howard and Airdri make much cheaper hand driers - with basic units selling for between £50 and £80, persuading someone to fork-out over fifteen times the price, is going to prove difficult.

Someone who agrees with me, is Will Dunn, news editor of Stuff Magazine, he described the new dryer as "impressive" but suggested that ?unless there was a radical price drop its appeal was likely to be limited to businesses willing to pay a premium for stylish design.?

?I am sure there will be a more cost efficient product to follow in the footsteps of the Airblade Tap.?

So to say the Airblade Tap will be a global sensation would be an exaggeration. Although I do envisage the product will be a success for high-end businesses and those who are energy-conscious, tech savvy consumers with a lot of disposable income. But I do not agree that this product will be found in ordinary people homes, as you would with the Dyson hoover, due to the initial costs. Even though the product may save consumers money in the long term and will avoid a slippery bathroom, doesn?t really rectify spending a thousand pounds on a tap. But with Dyson developing and working on new innovative products, I am sure there will be a more cost efficient product to follow in the footsteps of the Airblade Tap, which will have similar benefits to offer consumers.



The Guardian

Sky News

Wired Dyson Air Blade