Airblade Tap: Dyson launches faucet-dryer combo for high-speed hand maintenance

When it comes to the matter of public washrooms, forget the nasty odors, blocked toilets and dirty sinks – for British inventor James Dyson, the issue that needs dealing with most is one of water spillage as you walk across to the hand dryer.

His new Airblade Tap, which uses similar technology to that found inside the company’s popular Airblade hand dryer, incorporates a high-speed dryer into a faucet, allowing users to wash and dry their hands in the same spot. Dyson hopes his new invention, which launches this week, will help to eliminate the problem of hazardous wet floors.

“In washrooms using conventional taps, you’ll need to move to a separate hand drying area, dripping water on the floors as you go,” Dyson explains on his website. “It’s why we’ve developed a tap with our hand drying technology in it.”

According to Dyson, the Airblade Tap is also more efficient than conventional hand dryers, with his invention drying a pair of hands in just 12 seconds compared to “up to 43 seconds” with today’s dryers.

To use Dyson’s sensor-laden faucet-dryer combo, you first place your hands underneath, at which point water is automatically dispensed. To set off the 420mph jet of air, you simply spread your hands apart slightly. The unit is powered by a 1600-watt motor located beneath the sink.

Dyson adds that the Airblade Tap is more hygienic than other dryers, which he says “suck in dirty air and then blow it back onto hands.”

His machine, on the other hand, uses HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, which the inventor claims catch 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses floating about a washroom, thereby enabling you to dry your hands with clean, rather than dirty, air.

As you might expect with a Dyson product, the Airblade Tap doesn’t come cheap. Its £1000 ($1575) launch price is likely to prove prohibitive for many businesses interested in installing the unit. However, if the cost comes down over time, we can well imagine it becoming a popular fixture in washrooms around the world. You can check it out below.

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