Dyson and anti-coronavirus air purifiers: company patented an unexpected concept

What has not been in portable audio over the past 50 years, and active noise reduction, and earphones, translators, and automatic adjustment to the geometry of the auricle and thousands of other functional features. But, perhaps, the farthest went from manufacturers, from whom you do not expect audio devices at all. The manufacturer of vacuum cleaners Dyson patented original headphones-air purifiers. No, it didn’t seem to you, and I didn’t mix anything, earphones-air purifiers. The corresponding patent application was filed with the British Patent Office and published on January 29, 2020. Under the cut, everything that is known about the bold concept of manufacturers of vacuum cleaners, as well as some of my thoughts on whether there will ever be a device based on this patent and whether such a device has a chance like a commercial product.

Headphones, vacuum cleaners and coronavirus

It would seem that the absurd idea of ​​combining not very compatible things turned out to be unexpectedly logical. In fairness, it should be noted that Dyson has hatched plans for this device for a long time. Information about an unusual gadget leaked to Bloomberg back in 2018, it was then that a patent application was registered. Now the manufacturer reveals the cards. The time is quite suitable, interest in the concept of portable air purifiers is especially great due to the coronavirus rampant in Asia. Smog situation in megacities also worsens every year, especially in China, where Xi Jinping has already declared air pollution one of the main national problems.

The patent application is published on the website of the British Intellectual Property Office, the United Kingdom Patent Office. Interestingly, there is no direct indication of exactly what the gadget will filter. So, there is no indication that the filter is able to clean the air of viruses and bacteria, nor is there any mention of which chemically harmful substances it is capable of retaining. Dyson is also in no hurry to comment. Back in 2018, the company refused to comment on rumors about the device, and after the publication of the patent application in the public domain is in no hurry to give explanations.

The relevance of the study is described by a fairly streamlined phrase that:

“Air pollution is becoming an increasingly serious problem, and various air pollutants have known or suspected harmful effects on human health”

The design described in the patent

The Dyson Ltd patent describes a design involving the use of two fan-shaped fans with a diameter of 35-40 mm, operating at a speed of 12,000 rpm and forcing air into the cleaning system with a capacity of 1.5 liters. every second. In addition to the usual headband, the gadget is equipped with an additional hoop-like part – an air duct, which in the open position directs the cleaned air to the mouth and nose through a perforated surface. If there is no need to use an air purifier, the duct can be removed. Judging by the patent application, such a system will be able to deliver 2.4 liters. filtered air per second, 0.6 l. it will be in the system every second.


In addition to the already noted uncertainties in the filtering method, a careful study of the patent raises a number of questions. High revolutions of fan motors for a long time require a sufficiently powerful battery, and this is even without parallel operation with a headset. Meanwhile, neither in the circuit nor in the description of the headphones there is such a battery, moreover, no place is provided for sufficient for a more or less suitable power source.

It also remains unclear how noisy engines with so many revolutions will be. As far as I know, such engines are quite noisy and can also cause resonant vibrations of the hollow body of the headphones, which in turn can affect the sound. How the issue of noise and vibration isolation will be resolved is not reflected in the patent.

Some skepticism is also caused by the fact that Dyson Ltd had never before released any popular audio products, if at all. As you know, the creation of portable audio requires experience and practical experience, otherwise every third Chinese manufacturer would have already deprived companies such as Sennheiser and SONY. For this reason, the future of the gadget as any kind of high-quality headphones also raises certain doubts.

Champion in patents and failed projects

The foggy future of the invention also seems to me for the reason that Dyson initiatives, far from vacuum cleaners, rarely find application and enjoy commercial success. Thus, the company’s electric vehicle project, which claimed investment of 2 billion pounds, was frozen due to the lack of commercial prospects.

At the same time, the company has already managed to invest in the purchase of an airfield under the test center and has begun to build an automobile plant in Singapore. Back in 2009, Dyson patented a juicer, which was not implemented even at the level of a demonstration prototype. According to Bloomberg, last year Dyson also had a lot of applications, moreover, the publication notes that the company “stamps them like sausages” and not everyone goes into business.

About the future of a bold idea

I want to note that I was impressed by the originality of the idea, and I fully admit that such a device may be born. In addition, Dyson’s experience with electric motors and fans in vacuum cleaners is cautious. Meanwhile, by the time the device appears, most likely, hysteria with coronavirus will pass, which, obviously, will reduce the attractiveness in the eyes of the general public. You need to understand that the future of the project will largely depend on the specific technical solution and the characteristics of the final product, as well as its cost. Trying to soberly assess these factors, I look at the future of such headphones rather pessimistic, the described problems with engine noise and the lack of relevant experience reinforce my skepticism.

What I know about infectious diseases, as well as the size of their pathogens, allows me to say that it is unlikely that such a device will be able to protect it from the viral infection (as Bloomberg authors suggested). Meanwhile, to solve the problem of individual protection from urban smog with its help, most likely, will be partly possible. Undoubtedly, I can be mistaken in my reasoning and traditionally invite readers to leave their opinions about the prospects and possibilities of a bold idea in the comments.

In our catalog while there are no headphones that clean the air, but there are many other headphones and other modern electronics. With us you can easily find acoustic systems, headphones, amplifiers, soundbars, and other useful devices. The assortment includes warm lamps, vinyl and other joys for lovers of technoarchaics. We did not forget about cold transistors and very frosty digital devices.

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