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New Dyson headphone patent is a breath of fresh air

Dyson is working on a pair of headphones that will benefit from the company’s expertise in purifying the air.

In a newly revealed patent reported by Bloomberg, the British company explains how the headphones could help to reduce the harmful effects of air pollution by bringing the tech from its wildly-successful in-home air purifiers into the outside world and an item of everyday gadgetry.

The patent describes air filters that are built directly into the headphone cups. When in use, an additional headband can be lowered in front of the mouth in order to provide two direct streams of filtered clean air that would meet in the middle.

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Described as a wearable air purifier, the patent describes a fan-like propeller that spins as 12,000 rpm, bringing in 1.4 litres of air per second. In the process, particles and bacteria are filtered out. That results in 2.4 litres of clean oxygen being presented to the user’s mouth and nose.

Dyson claims in the patent that its invention is intended to surpass the capabilities of existing wearable air purifiers. Dyson says that efforts that do not require the mouth and nose to be covered, such as those worn around the neck and create an upward jet of air, have been more socially acceptable, but “generally less effective at limiting the user’s exposure to airborne pollutions.”

Filed at the UK’s Intellectual Property Office in early 2019 and recently published, the patent comes amid dangerous levels of air pollution in major cities, where face masks have become common place. The worrying spread of the coronavirus has also raised fears around the world.

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“We’re constantly creating disruptive solutions to problems, which means we file a lot of patents,” a Dyson spokesman told Bloomberg. “If and when a product is ready we’ll happily go through it but until then we don’t comment on our patents.”

Whether Dyson actually follow through and turn this patent into reality, but the concept does sound like a real breath of fresh air.

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