Dyson has just announced the Zone, the world’s first headphones that also purify the wearer’s air. Yes, they look like something out of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. But people thought the iPad was just a bigger iPhone when it first came out. If you can look past the supervillain style, you’ll see that the area is actually loaded with thoughtful design changes and features. We’ll just have to wait and see if anyone wants to wear them.
Dyson’s Zone Bluetooth headphones have a magnetically attached plastic face mask that filters out allergens, gases and dust using the same technology as Dyson’s home air purifiers.
The Zone’s magnetically attached plastic face mask filters out allergens, gases and dust in a utility designed for wearers in urban areas. It comes with four selectable modes (low, medium, high and auto) and uses the same technology as Dyson’s home air purifiers.
A motor in each ear cup of the helmet draws ambient air into a compressor. Then the air passes through replaceable dual-layer filters made with potassium-enriched carbon which aims to trap particles. On-board sensors detect how fast the wearer is moving and automatically adjust the airflow up to 5 liters of air per second, which is equivalent to a light jog.
From there, clean air pours in a stream along the inside of the visor to the wearer’s mouth and nose.
Depending on the filter Dyson places in the area, this could be quite effective. The brand claims that some of its filtration techniques can trap 99.97% of particulate pollution as small as 0.3 microns, including dust, pollen and bacteria.
To silence the filter’s compressors, active noise canceling headphones use microphones to monitor all external sounds (and the sound of the filter’s compressors) and suppress them with noise-canceling waves broadcast from the headphones’ speakers.
The British home appliance company has a good track record at the cutting edge of technology. In the mid-2010s, it began to branch out from the vacuum cleaners it built its reputation on. Soon it struck gadget gold with the now famous Dyson Supersonic hair dryer.
It remains to be seen whether the Zone obtains the same success. While the shape might be too extreme for people to wear on a daily basis, the function is definitely innovative.
The Dyson area drops in the fall of 2022. The brand has yet to release pricing details, but it has never shied away from prices in the $500 range.