Forget vacuums and hand dryers: The Dyson product might just blow away a whole industry

Emma Haslett
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"Here's the science bit..." (Source: Dyson)

It's been four years and £50m in the making, but Dyson's new product just blew in: this time, entrepreneur James Dyson is taking on the beauty market.

Yes, fresh from such innovations as the world's first self-righting vacuum cleaner, the company has decided to tackle something altogether more personal: the hairdryer.

And naturally, given the company's reputation for taking relatively under-appreciated household gadgets and ramping up the science bit, the Dyson Supersonic is described in terms more familiar to petrolheads than beauty enthusiasts (maybe it's just preparing for its self-driving car).

Read more: Dyson profits up 19 per cent thanks to tripling growth in China

Some 103 engineers have created 600 prototypes, which have been tested on 1,010 miles of hair. It has 100 patents pending, and has led to a hair laboratory at Dyson's Malmesbury factory.

Thought hairdryers were just for girls? Think again. Here's what you need to know.

1. It contains a V9 motor

It took a team of 15 motor engineers to create a motor which Dyson reckons is eight times faster than other hairdryers - but half the weight. The motor is in the handle, rather than in the head ("engineered for balance").

2. 0-60 in seconds

Remember Air Multiplier Technology from its fans? Now the company is using it in its hairdryers, amplifying the volume of the air drawn into the motor three by three - which speeds up drying.

3. It's quiet

Hair salons are loud places - but Dyson reckons using something called an axial flow impeller with 13 blades rather than the usual nine inside the motor, a lot of the sound is above the frequencies humans can hear. Essentially, it's ultrasonic.

4. It looks after your hair

Anyone who uses straighteners or hairdryers on a regular basis will have their preferred heat-resistant unction, but this hairdryer "intelligently" controls the temperature to keep it below 150 degrees, the point at which hair proteins start to die.

5. It's more expensive than your average hairdryer

Convinced? Start saving: prices start at £299.

The many stages of the hairdryer's development

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