The introduction of Airblade sees a mixer tap combined with hand drying functions
The latest invention from the Dyson stable is a mixer tap, where users can not only wash but also dry their hands. The tap, which retails for £999, is part of the latest Airblade hand dryer range and uses the company’s latest digital V4 motor.
Speaking at the UK launch, head of Airblade development Chris Osborn explained: “In the tap we’ve integrated the washing and drying functions together. The air is channelled through the two branches at either side at 430miles/hour. There are infra-red sensors at the front of the tap. These detect the position of your hands and they activate either the water or the air functions, separately.”
Osborn stated the three-pronged design was the “most usable and most efficient” layout. He added: “The secret to the performance of the tap is hidden beneath the countertop and that’s in the motor bucket. In the motor bucket is where the V4 motor is housed. In this application we are drawing around 30 litres of air every second, through a HEPA filter, pushing the air through the motor and into the tap itself.”
The V4 motor, which replaces Dyson’s current digital motor, was designed by the company’s engineers and took 7 years and £27m in development. The three-strong range of Airblade dryers, including a smaller Airblade Mark II dryer, the Airblade V, and the Airblade tap, had 125 engineers working across them for 3 years, with around £40million in total invested in their development.
Constucted from 304 grade stainless steel, used in the marine and medical industry, the Airblade tap is made by Dyson in Singapore.
Chris Osborn continued: “We needed to develop new manufacturing techniques that enable us to use these thin, steel tubes, so we could fit all the internal components inside the tap. The solution we went for was to cut and to weld the parts using a very high powered laser.”
He added: “It’s designed to go in commercial environments but there’s no reason why it can’t be installed in the home. It’s tailored to fit standard sinks in the washroom and they are no different to the ones you find at home. So technically it can fit there.”
Like the rest of the range, the Airblade tap operates around 85dB, has a five-year warranty, and will be available online and through its existing channels.