Domestic appliances that many use around the world everyday have seen little innovation in recent decades. This is the key complaint that's led designers like Tony Fadell to rethink the humble thermostat and smoke detector, and now it appears Dyson is tackling the hair dryer. The appliances grew in popularity in the 1920s, and the basic design has changed little since then. According to a new Dyson patent application uncovered by The Telegraph, the company behind bagless vacuum cleaners and more efficient blow dryers thinks it can improve the design.
It seems the company is focusing on quieting down hair dryers by lengthening the path of air through the appliance. The patent filing explains that "the noise of the hair dryer is reduced by having a long fluid flow path; a coiled, looped, curved, s-shaped, zigzagged fluid flow path." New materials could also be used to dampen the sound. A cross section of a hypothetical Dyson hair dryer included in the filing is not necessarily indicative of what the final product will look like, but it does show one concept for how to extend the airway. Air passes in through the back of the dryer and is routed through a maze of ducting before passing around the handle and back through the main tube.
The filing is based on fluid dynamics, and it notes that "as less fluid is drawn in, the motor of the fan assembly can be smaller and lighter in weight, the noise produced by the fan assembly can be reduced as there is less flow thorough the fan, this can result in a smaller and more compact hair dryer which uses less power." We're probably far off from seeing this device on the shelves at Bed Bath & Beyond, but we can't help but look forward to the day when we're freed from the din of hair dryers.