Dyson, the British company best known for its high-end vacuum cleaners, has announced a pair of noise-canceling headphones that it claims are also the world’s first air-purifying headphones. They’re called the Dyson Zone, and they have a massive set of earcups and a large, chrome-finished mouthpiece that wraps around the front of your face from ear to ear, like something out of a Daft Punk video. Dyson hasn’t revealed the price of the Zone or when it will be available for purchase.
In a press release, Jake Dyson, the company’s chief engineer, said, “Air pollution is a global problem — it affects us everywhere we go.” “At home, at school, at work, and when we travel by foot, bike, or public or private transportation. The Dyson Zone cleans the air you breathe while you’re on the go. It uses high-performance filters and two miniaturized air pumps to deliver a plume of fresh air without touching your face, unlike face masks. We’re excited to deliver pure air and pure audio, anywhere, after six years of development.”
According to Dyson, Dyson Zone Air purifying headphones protects people from two types of pollution:
Air pollution and noise pollution, as they go about their daily lives. Electrostatic filters in the Dyson Zone remove 99 percent of particulates as small as 0.1 microns, while activated carbon filters absorb city fumes, reducing air pollution. Noise pollution is handled by the headphones’ high-fidelity audio sound and advanced active and passive noise cancellation.
Special fans draw air in through the circular perforations, pass it through the circular air filters, and then push it through the “visor” bar toward a vent that sits directly in front of your nose and mouth but does not make contact with your face. If you only want to use the Zone for audio, the visor bar connects magnetically to the headphones and can be removed. The visor also has hinges that allow you to swing it down and out of the way for conversations or a cup of coffee in the morning.
According to Chaim Gartenberg of The Verge, who had a chance to try on an early version of the headphones, the Zone’s filtration system has multiple settings for different levels of exertion. “For example, if you’re sprinting up a flight of stairs or trying to catch a bus, your breathing will be heavier (and you’ll require more air) than if you’re taking a leisurely stroll,” Gartnerberg explained. “There’s even an automated setting that adjusts the airflow based on accelerometers.”
We don’t know how long the battery lasts or whether it supports Bluetooth multipoint or voice assistant access because Dyson hasn’t released many details about the headphones portion of the Zone, but Gartnerberg claims it has three different noise cancellation modes: “When the face visor is raised in isolation mode, ANC is active. When you lower the visor, you enter conversation mode, which disables ANC so you can hear the person you’re speaking with. A transparency mode is also available, which filters out important sounds like car horns and sirens.”
Dyson hasn’t said whether the air-purification portion of the Zone will require a replacement filter or if the included filters will be washable, as they are on the company’s vacuums.
The ultra-futuristic design of Dyson’s new product, the Zone, isn’t the only point of contention. Naomi Wu, a Chinese YouTuber, has written a Twitter thread about her concerns about the Zone’s potential to harm public health. The motorized fans, according to Wu, will “project exhaled aerosols outward.” It would be ideal if you wanted to weaponize a virus host.”
Ok here’s a technical breakdown of why the “@Dyson Zone™ Air-Purifying Headphones” aka. the Snot Cannon aka. the Wearable SuperSpreader Event is such a staggeringly bad idea and a significant danger to public health if it is allowed to be sold.— Naomi Wu 机械妖姬 (@RealSexyCyborg) March 30, 2022
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