Companies that boldly re-imagine the technologies we take for granted and then take them to the next level seem far and few between on Planet Earth.
Plenty of companies seem blissfully unaware that good enough is the enemy of good, if not brilliantly great, churning out slightly better versions of previous technologies without making any real effort to do something spectacular.
Dyson never does anything mediocre, or anything by halves, and its latest technology - the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer - is an excellent example of the Dyson ethos of excellence - and another example and fulfilment of the brand’s ‘mission to provide technology solutions for consumers.’
The company’s famous founder, Sir James Dyson, unveiled his new innovation at a special media event in Tokyo, Japan, to media, hairstylists and ‘influencers’ from around the world.
The event explained how ‘hair dryers can be bulky and difficult to manoeuvre, can blast air at high temperatures, which can cause extreme heat damage, all with the risk of hair being sucked into and trapped in the filter.’
Dyson set its engineers with the task of rethinking the hair dryer.
What Dyson’s Supersonic hair dryer does is to use ‘a fast but focused airflow,’ engineered for balance in the hand, with quiet operation and inbuilt intelligence to control the temperate to protect hair from extreme heat damage.
Dyson said: “Hair dryers can be heavy, inefficient and make a racket. By looking at them further we realised that they can also cause extreme heat damage to hair. I challenged Dyson engineers to really understand the science of hair and develop our version of a hair dryer, which we think solves these problems.”
Here are three of Dyson’s corporate videos showcasing the new hair dryer - the article continues below, please read on.
1. Dyson: The hair dryer re-thought, as you’ve never seen it before.
2. Dyson have re-thought the hair dryer, from the inside out.
3. Helping prevent extreme heat damage: The Dyson hair dryer explained.
Dyson’s YouTube channel with several more videos on the Supersonic Hair Dryer is here.
So, what are some more of the features and benefits that Dyson is touting in its press materials?
It's all below, please read on.
First up is ‘hair science.’
Here, Dyson tells us that it has ‘invested £50 million (just under AUD $96 million) in the development of the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer including creating a state of the art laboratory dedicated to investigating the science of hair.’
The company says its engineers ‘studied hair from root to tip, understanding how it reacts to stresses, how to keep it healthy and how to style it.’
Over four years, Dyson’s engineers ‘tested the product on different hair types and built test rigs, which mechanically simulate hair-drying techniques – which can differ around the world - and that to date, over 1010 miles of real human hair have been used in testing.
Second is the ‘motor enabled’ nature of the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer.
It is ‘powered by the patented Dyson digital motor V9, created in-house by a team of over 15 motor engineers specifically for this machine. It is Dyson’s smallest, lightest, most advanced digital motor.’
Dyson says its ‘digital motor is engineered to be powerful yet compact, it is small enough to be positioned in the handle rather than the head; because of this the machine is engineered for balance. Most conventional hair dryers have the motor in the head of the machine.’
Third is that this hair dryer ‘helps protect natural shine.’
Dyson explains that ‘some conventional hair dryers can reach extreme temperatures, especially when held close to your head. This can cause extreme heat damage to your hair.’
Dyson says its Supersonic ‘has intelligent heat control, helping to ensure hair isn’t exposed to excessive temperatures. A glass bead thermistor measures the temperature 20 times a second and transmits this data to the microprocessor, which intelligently controls the patented double-stacked heating element.’
Fourth is that the dryer is ‘fast & focused.’
We are told that the dryer uses ‘Dyson’s patented Air Multiplier technology. The volume of the air drawn into the motor is amplified by three due to this technology, producing a high pressure, high velocity jet of air.’
‘Traditional hair dryers can sometimes have a weak airflow, meaning they are slow. Others can have strong airflow, but it is not necessarily controlled. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer creates a focused jet of air, angled at 20° for controlled, precise drying and styling. This allows you to dry and style at the same time.’
Fifth is the dryer’s ‘acoustic engineering.’
Dyson explains that a team of its ‘aero-acoustic engineers sought to understand how the acoustics of this machine could be optimised.’
‘By using an axial flow impeller inside the motor they have simplified the pathway of the air reducing turbulence and swirling. By giving the motor impeller 13 blades instead of the usual 11, Dyson engineers pushed one tone within the motor to a sound frequency beyond the audible range for humans.’
‘Also, because the motor is small and compact Dyson engineers have been able to embed it in the handle, surrounded by acoustic silencers to further reduce sound. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is engineered to be quiet, without compromising on speed.’
Sixth is the ‘settings and attachments’ on the dryer.
Dyson says its dryer ‘has four heat settings, three airflow settings and a cold shot too. Dyson engineers have created three precisely engineered magnetic attachments, with 16 patents pending, to further control this airflow allowing you to achieve a range of different styles.’
- The Dyson engineered smoothing nozzle dries hair gently, using smooth, wide air, allowing you to dry and style at the same time.
- The Dyson diffuser is engineered to disperse air evenly around each curl. It simulates natural drying, helping to reduce frizz and improve definition.
- The attachments remain cool to the touch. Using Heat Shield technology the hot air is contained within a sandwich of cold air meaning the surfaces of the attachment stay cool.
- Being magnetic, each nozzle is easy to attach and adjust.
- There are multiple settings including constant cool to set your style; four heat settings, three airflow settings and a cold shot too.
Dyson supplied some additional notes, which are as follows:
Dyson Supersoni hair dryer facts and figures:
- Dyson has invested almost £50 million in the development of the Dyson Supersonic™ hairdryer
- Dyson has built a bespoke, state of the art Hair Laboratory in research, design and development
- 1010 miles of human hair has been used in testing
- 600 prototypes
- 100+ patents pending
- 16 patents pending for the attachments alone
- 4 years in development
- 103 engineers
- 2-year guarantee on parts and labour
- Australian availability and pricing: to be confirmed later this year
Haircare industry in numbers:
The hair care appliance industry is worth ($US):
- $153.4m in Australia
- $1.9bn in the US
- $516.3m in China
- $552.1m in Japan
- 50% of people define their hair as “extremely important” to their overall look and feel.
- The average woman owns 3.3 different styling appliances.
- 27% of Australians say their biggest frustration with using a hairdryer is their “arms getting tired”.
- 67% of Australians say they “must own” a hairdryer, with 49% using a hairdryer at least twice a week.
Dyson general extra info:
- 75: Dyson machines are sold in more than 75 countries.
- £1.5 billion: Dyson has committed to a £1.5bn investment in future technology. £250 million investment in facilities this year becomes real when the Malmesbury Campus opens. We are developing four new portfolios of technology, and will launch 100 new products around the world in the next four years.
- £5 million: Dyson works with over 30 universities worldwide to develop early stage technologies, including a £5m investment in a joint robotics lab with Imperial College, London.
- 6,000+: Dyson employs more than 6,000 people worldwide, a third of who are engineers.
- 1995: Dyson sold its first cylinder vacuum cleaner, DC02, in 1995. This was two years after the first Dyson upright vacuum cleaner, DC01, went on sale.
Dyson Australia general extra info:
- Dyson has been touted as the “most agile brand in Australia” by Landor Associates in 2015.
- Reader’s Digest named Dyson the Number 5 “most trusted brand in Australia” in 2015.