A friend of mine, we’ll call him Daniel Griffiths (because that’s his name), occasionally sends me a mini essay on a random topic he’s been thinking about a bit too much. It’s therapy for him and an amusing distraction for me and the handful of others he includes in the email.
His latest is a rant about Dyson’s new fan (and yes… it IS a fan!) the Air Multiplier. Thought you might enjoy it too.
The Dyson Air Multiplier
Before we get stuck into the Dyson Air Multiplier let me ask you a question: Were hoover bags ever a problem in your life?
Think about it.
Did you ever curse having to install and remove them? Did all that tiresome walking over to the bin and dropping them in ever rankle? And the way your hoover ‘lost suction’ just before the bag needed emptying? Were any of the above ever once a thought that even fleetingly crossed your mind?
No, of course they weren’t. The Dyson vacuum cleaner is a solution to a problem that never existed. I could start on about how Dysons, actually, in truth, loose more suction than bagged cleaners. How they require more frequent emptying. How they’re heavier, more cumbersome, use more energy and, rather than having the dirt neatly wrapped up in a bag, instead bring you face to face with your own skin and hair every time you have to trip to the bin. Every five minutes.
I could do that. But instead I want to talk about the Dyson Air Multiplier. Another device that – like their famous Flash Gordon hoovers – is another solution to a problem that nobody has.
It’s like this:
The DAM (as it shall be known herein) looks amazing. Amazing! It’s a hoop on a stick. This is a fan? No way! There are no blades! How? What? Where? I’m actually stunned! It makes air fly out of the circle?! But how? Jeez, £200! They’re having a laugh there, but it makes air fly out?! This is incredible!
Only it isn’t. Have you ever wondered why Dyson hasn’t been able to claim that the DAM is any quieter or uses less electricity than a conventional fan? Or even why – for something with no moving parts – it’s so bloody noisy?…
Think about it. It magically *propels* air… Right?
The reason it uses as much energy as a fan and sounds like a fan is because it is a fan. It does have blades. And a bloody big electric motor to turn them too.
Now, forgive me if this isn’t a surprise. You may be cleverer than I, but I – for some time – presumed that the DAM somehow used ‘Dyson magic’ to propel it’s air.
I presumed that it ‘ionised’ the air in the hoop, perhaps. Imbued it with some kind of ‘charge’ that made it ‘fly’ quickly forwards. This movement would pull in air behind it. Which would then be ‘charged’ in the same way and again pushed forwards. Result: An incredible, bladeless fan.
The only thing I couldn’t work out was if this was based on ‘charging’ and ‘propelling’ then why was it so noisy? I investigated and the answer is simple.
Here’s how the DAM works:
In the base there is a fan attached to that a large electric motor. It sucks in air through the grill in the base. (Were you wondering what the holes were for?) Some air cools the motor (which gets hot and wastes energy, incidentally) and the rest of the air is squirted up through the ‘stick’ and fired out of the rim of the hoop.
And that’s it.
So, instead of standing in front of the blades of the fan, you stand in front of a hoop. At the end of a pipe. At the end of which there is a fan.
And that’s it.
The air comes out of the hoop and pulls more air from around the hoop with it. Just like a normal fan.
And that’s it.
All that ‘physics’. All that ‘engineering’. All that ‘genius’. It’s all a big lie.
The DAM is not magic. It’s not even clever. In fact it’s stupid. You could smash one apart and sit in front of the fan that’s hidden in the base and feel a more intense draft.
Which leaves us with the claim that Dyson IS able to make about his fan: That it doesn’t cause any ‘buffeting’. In fact he goes so far as to say ‘annoying buffeting’. The DAM has zero ‘annoying buffeting’. And that – friends – is a FACT.
What, when, and where is ‘buffeting’? And when, Mr Dyson, was anyone ever in the least bit ‘annoyed’ by it?
Well, it turns out that ‘buffeting’ is what happens when the blades of a fan ‘chop’ the air. Buffeting is when the air arrives in ‘chopped’ form rather than in… ‘unchopped’ form. Buffeting is… Sorry, what the fuck is buffeting again?
So the blades chop the air? Yes. And that means that it’s chopped? Yes. And that chopped up air reaches me as a chunks of air? Yes. And that feels like a breeze in my face. Yes. And… Sorry, what the fuck is buffeting again?
The DAM has no buffeting (because its fan is hidden in the base and by the time the air is squirted out of the hoop its already travelled so far that it’s not ‘chopped’ any more) and the result is… A breeze in your face. A breeze in your face that… isn’t as… ‘buffety’?
Buffeting. Who ever even noticed, cared about, or EVEN ONCE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT ANYTHING EVEN LIKE buffeting? Yes James, buffeting! AKA The second most annoying thing since having to drop a hoover bag neatly into a bin ONCE EVERY SIX FUCKING MONTHS.
Round about now an ashen faced James Dyson’s bottom lip is beginning to quiver. He’s been rumbled and he knows it. We’d smash his head into his stupid spacehoop but – unfortunately – there’s just a big hole there where the blades should be.
The Oz curtain is down and he’s sat behind it. Sat behind it peddling a noisy fan on a stick.
But he still has one last gasp.
“It’s easier to clean,” he mutters.
“It’s easier to… clean…”
By now his voice is almost a whisper.
For a moment we plot the tirade of shit we could throw at him. We recall the times we’ve spent hoovering our fucking HOOVER as our Dyson ‘cleaner’ once again delighted in covering its myriad idiotic nooks and crannies with the very shit it was supposed to be sucking up. We think about scooping this shit up and rubbing it into James Dyson’s stupid Toby jug face.
But our dirt is too good for him.
“Easier to clean, y’say James? Easier to clean…”
We stride towards him. Grab his pullover and pull him nose to nose.
“So when was the last time you cleaned a fucking fan?” we ask.
And with that, we were done.