Dyson has unveiled its latest invention and it's not what many expected. Using the same form of Airblade technology as its hugely popular bathroom hand-dryers, plus a new supercharged motor, the British company has introduced a bathroom tap, the Dyson Airblade Tap no less.
No ordinary tap, the Airblade Tap combines a water spout with two prongs that blast directed air on to hands, completely drying them in around 14 seconds. There are infrared sensors which ensure the device knows when to wet or dry, and because of this simplicity - as with many Dyson products - it is ridiculously easy to use.
Pocket-lint was invited to the demonstration day at Dyson to check out the tap, which we are told is aimed primarily at facilities and corporate venues. But it can happily be installed in a home, thanks to the fittings being compatible with home sinks. And we like it. It's certainly effective.
Costing a staggering £40 million to develop, there are many elements to the Airblade Tap. The main is the new Dyson v4 digital motor, which drives the show. For such a device, there's a lot of air being shifted when in dry mode, so it needs such clever gubbins at work. There's also a newly developed silencer that keeps things quieter by resonating at the same speed as the motor.
It takes a little getting used to – for example, you need to wait for the water to stop pouring in order to activate the drying mechanism – but we can see the tap becoming very popular in high-class venues and footballers' homes.
And thar's the rub. Because of the massive development costs, this first generation of the Dyson Airblade Tap has to be priced handsomely in order to recuperate some of the outlay – a whopping £1,000 a pop. It will be out of reach (no pun intended) of many publicans, let alone homeowners. We'll no doubt see it on Grand Designs at some point though.
The medical-grade stainless steel utilised in its aesthetic certainly helps it look the part.