According to a Bloomberg report, Vacuum manufacturer Dyson has filed a patent for a new type of purifier that merges an air purification system with a pair of headphones, which it claims could be a subtle solution to staying healthy in pollution-filled cities.
The recently issued application depicts a set of headphones with air filters built into its ear cups. Diagrams shown in the application depicts a band that rests across the wearer’s mouth to supply them with clean air, which can then be folded away when not in use.
Dyson’s patent filing states that both the ear cups contain a motor which is connected to a fan-like propeller measuring 35-40mm. Each spin at around 12,000 rpm to draw in approximately 1.4 liters of air per second into the headphones that dust and bacteria cannot penetrate. This arrangement sounds like it could generate a fair bit of noise. At that speed, the motors are spinning at over 10 times that of a regular PC fan. In comparison, the tiny motors used in Dyson’s cordless vacuum cleaners rotates at around 120,000 RPM.
Dyson already offers a broad range of air purifiers and vacuum cleaners for the home, but these certainly don’t offer much help when you’re out and about. Any attempt to grow in the headphone market would denote a leap for Dyson, pitting it against the likes of the more established companies – Bose and Sennheiser.
Ao Air, back at CES in January, announced the Atmos Faceware, a $350 device that the company states provides a better shield against particulate matter than a typical air filter mask and doesn’t require an airtight seal to be useful. The Atmos Facewhere also has a somewhat transparent design, which means it doesn’t entirely cover your face while you wear it. This indicates, Dyson isn’t the only company that’s looking at offering a wearable air purifier.
Of course, this is just a patent, so a commercially available device isn’t guaranteed. According to a Bloomberg report from 2018, Dyson has been working on its wearable air purifier for a while, so it seems like this could end up becoming a reality. Moreover, it does indicate the requirement for wearable air purification.
The company has also not hesitated about canceling projects, even when it has heavily invested in them. In 2018, Dyson abandoned its £2 billion plan to build electric cars, despite having turned a former airfield into a site to test its vehicles and begun plans to build a car factory in Singapore.