So, last night we heard that Dyson was revolutionising the way we wash our hands with a fancy new Airblade Tap that blasts your hands dry after you’ve sanitised yourself. Today, Dyson let us have a play in its London lab, so what was it like?
I’ll get this out there from the off — this isn’t a tap for your home. Yes, you can install the thing in your bathroom, but you wouldn’t want to. It spits out a single temperature (controlled upstream), makes a load of noise, and costs £1,000 a pop. It’s designed with the commercial market in mind, and it should be great in a restaurant or museum bathroom.
The Airblade Tap senses your hands with IR without issue, pumps out the water, and then waits for you to separate your hands to kick-start the air. The Tap works in the same way as any other Airblade product, producing a blade of air that scrapes the water off your mitts rather than trying to evaporate it with heat.
In reality, it works OK, but I, and a lot of other journalists trialling this thing, found that it didn’t totally dry your hands. Sure, it got the worst off, but your hands weren’t bone dry. But then, if you think about how you use any old hand dryer, unless you’re dedicated to the cause, it’s just a quick flick and then out, not desert-dry skin. In 12 seconds, the Airblade Tap will dry your hands enough so you can jet back to your date.
The noise it makes is just like the traditional Airblade. It’s loud, but not obnoxious thanks to the acoustic tuning that Dyson’s put into action within the air chambers. That said, if you put this in your bathroom at home, the whole house would hear you drying your hands. Can’t see that really going down well at 4am.
So, it’s a tap that lets you wash your hands and dries them right at the basin. It does what it says on the tin, and it’s a pretty minimalist and stylish-looking piece of kit. Apparently the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington, London, is looking at getting them fitted, so they should be appearing in bathrooms across the country from around the summer.