Dyson launches air-purifying headphones marking its entry into wearables

Dyson Zone has been developed to address the issues of air and noise pollution

The new Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones. PA

Dyson, known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, has entered the wearable technology space with the launch of Zone air-purifying headphones.

The noise cancelling, high fidelity over-ear headphones also deliver purified airflow to the nose and mouth, as the company tackles the urban issues of air quality and noise pollution.

The Dyson Zone purifies the air you breathe on the move,” said Jake Dyson, chief engineer. “And unlike face masks, it delivers a plume of fresh air without touching your face, using high-performance filters and two miniaturised air pumps.”

The product has been unveiled after six years in development, he said.

The World Health Organisation estimates that about 7 million people die prematurely every year because exposure to air pollution. It estimated that about 90 per cent of people worldwide breathe polluted air.

“Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to human health, alongside climate change,” the WHO said in a statement last September.

“This puts the burden of disease attributable to air pollution on a par with other major global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking.”

Testing on the Dyson Zone. Courtesy Dyson

According to Dyson, its latest project went through more than 500 prototypes and was originally a snorkel-like clean air mouthpiece paired with a backpack to hold the motor and inner workings.

Engineers developed a model with a set of mechanical lungs which were programmed to breathe as a human does and enabled the accurate testing of the correct amount of airflow through the headphones.

Compressors in each ear cup draw air through the dual-layer filters and project two streams of purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth, channelled through the non-contact visor.

Sculpted returns on the visor ensure purified airflow is kept near to the nose and mouth and diluted as little as possible by external crosswinds, it said.

“Taking inspiration from the shape and design of a horse’s saddle, the Dyson Zone is engineered to distribute weight over the sides of the head, rather than on the top,” it said.

“A saddle typically curves over the horse’s spine distributing the load through contact with the areas left and right of the backbone – a format used for the central cushion on the headband.”

The Dyson Zone will be available from Autumn 2022. Pricing is yet to be confirmed.

Dyson had previously announced plans to also expand into the electric car market, but scrapped its £2.5 billion ($3.28bn) project in 2019, as founder James Dyson concluded it was not commercially viable.

Updated: March 30, 2022, 10:40 AM
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