SINGAPORE — The Dyson Zone, a new wearable device that combines noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones with a personal air purifier, drew ridicule online when it launched last Wednesday (March 30).
The Straits Times takes a look at Dyson’s next gadget and four other tech product categories that went viral online when they were announced.
The Dyson Zone is marketed as a pair of ‘air-purifying headphones’ and is envisioned as a solution to urban air pollution and airborne bacteria or allergens.
Its main distinguishing feature is a mask-like attachment the company calls a visor, which magnetically snaps onto the cups of the headphones. Unlike other wearable air purifiers on the market, the visor does not come into direct contact with the wearer’s face.
Air is drawn into the earcups through dual-layer Hepa-type filters and through the visor, creating a personal bubble of clean air around the wearer’s nose and mouth.
The unusual design has drawn comparisons to the masks worn by Batman villain Bane and ninjas like Scorpion and Sub-Zero from the Mortal Kombat franchise, as well as the reverse bear trap torture device from the Saw films.
Despite being ridiculed on social media, the Dyson Zone has been met with cautious optimism by a handful of early critics.
Engadget’s Cherlynn Low said it looked “silly” and “ridiculous” but she still wanted one. She added that she found it “impressively satisfying” and “surprisingly comfortable”.
Dan Grabham of Stuff.tv said the Dyson area “feels more than a little space-age and dystopian,” but noted that Dyson isn’t the only company looking to tap into a new market, especially in heavily polluted cities where smog is a problem, and the device seemed to work well.
Wired’s Chris Haslam called the design polarizing and said the device could represent “either a bold new world of personal pollution protection or an economic and public relations disaster for Dyson”.
He also noted that it will likely be expensive and targeted at the wealthy who “probably already have access to preferable environmental conditions.”
Pricing for the Dyson Zone has not been announced.