Dyson has taken his first step in wearable technology, with eye-catching headphones that come with an air-tight mouth visor.
Well-known for vacuum cleaners, Dyson has varied in recent years with products such as fans and hair dryers.
Headphones – called Dyson Zone – are designed to deal with the growing problem of air pollution.
One reviewer said they would definitely “turn heads on the road”.
Britta O’Boyle, deputy editor of the Pocket-lint gadget company, wrote: “The design is really impressive.”
The sound quality was “very good”,and the headphones were “well built”.
But as he failed to test the product outside, he could not say how he would clean the air or “how stupid you feel to wear it”.
Headphones go on sale in the fall.
“We don’t expect them to be cheap,” O’Boyle added.
A global problem
Sound-absorbing headphones come with a motor, fan and air filters for each ear cup.
Air absorbs filters, captures allergies and pollutants such as nitrogen and sulfur dioxide and brake dust.
And the fresh air is then transmitted to the nose and mouth via a visor, which is magnetically connected to the bottom of the headphones.
It is 97% effective for getting fresh air in the lungs, the company said.
There are four ways to clean it, depending on whether the wearer is walking down the street or sitting down.
Headphones use sensors to track breathing and exertion and switch between modes.
They also come with:
An application that allows users to specify their location and determine when a filter needs to be changed
the face cover comes into contact with the visor
The product has a four-hour battery life in low filter mode, according to Pocket-lint, or 1.5 hours in high filter.
‘A new spirit’
Chief engineer Jake Dyson said: “Air pollution is a global problem – it affects us everywhere we go.”
“The Dyson Zone cleans the air you breathe.
“And unlike face masks, it delivers fresh air without touching your face, using very effective filters and two small air pumps.”
The non-contact aspect was “appropriate” for designers, to avoid discomfort and irritation.
It was also the beginning of the sound of Dyson engineers.
Dyson Zone has six years – and 500 prototypes – in the making
The Verge called the finished product “strange”, emphasizing that it was not an early April Fool joke.
“While wearing a mask has become very common over the past two years, we will have to see if customers will agree to accept this seemingly strange product,” he wrote.
And technology website Cnet said it looks “like something you can see in a dystopian sci-fi movie”.