Air. I love it, you love it. We’re all out here walking around in it all day, filling our lungs and blood with the stuff. We can’t get enough of it. But that beautiful, wonderful, life-saving air that you, me and your pet chinchilla all need is bad sometimes. That’s right. The same air we rely on is sometimes filled with bad, tiny things. Things that would love nothing more than to fly into your nose and wreak havoc on your soft, unprotected insides.
Over the past two years, air purifiers have seen a massive spike in sales here in the U.S., starting with a 57% increase in 2020. The pandemic, coupled with phenomenon like the California wildfires, has driven many to install filters in their homes and offices. All the while, the engineers at Dyson have been asking themselves one important question: What if we found a way to stick the purifier on people’s faces? In a world where mask wearing has become the status quo, maybe it’s not the most out-there question?
The Dyson Zone is a beast. It has many of the hallmarks of Dyson’s much-loved product design, with the decided (and not insignificant) difference that it’s designed to be strapped onto the wearer’s face. Or, more precisely, I suppose, strapped to a pair of headphones and worn in front of their mouth. Honestly, the basic form factor most closely resembles a football helmet.
The final product arrives after 500 prototypes over six years, according to the company. Says Dyson:
Originally a snorkel-like clean air mouthpiece paired with a backpack to hold the motor and inner workings, the Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones evolved dramatically over its six years in development. More than 500 prototypes saw one motor initially placed at the nape become two compressors, one in each ear-cup and the evolution of the snorkel mouthpiece into an effective, contact-free visor that delivers clean air without full-face contact – a brand-new clean air delivery mechanism.
The removable visor shoots a pair of filtered air streams at the user’s mouth and nose without coming in direct contact with the face. It’s designed to filter out allergens, pollutants and other particulates. Dyson isn’t making any claims here about the Zone’s ability to filter out contagions like COVID. Instead, the product comes with an attachment that allows a user to wear a face covering in addition to the product. The headphones feature three noise-canceling modes, and the front piece has four air purification settings.
Exact pricing and availability are not yet available — which is too bad, because I really want to know how much this thing is going to run. Broadly, it’s arriving in select markets at some point this fall. More information on all of that is promised in the coming months.