Sir James Dyson’s team specializes in taking staid appliances and reinventing them into something functional, beautiful, and often justifiably expensive. His team’s most recent subject is a self-cleaning humidifier dubbed "Hygienic Mist." Click through the slideshow to see how it holds up. Available in the U.S. in Fall 2015.
The water contained in typical humidifiers is a breeding ground for bacteria. The Dyson model has an ultraviolet light treatment that silently purifies the water, twice over, so no unwanted elements end up in the air. The three-liter tank, Dyson says, is good for 18 hours of humidification.
The humidifier sends moisturized air throughout the room using the same technology you’ll recognize from the brand's line of space heaters and cooling fans. The units is made of polycarbonate and can be used as a regular fan, as well. It operates via remote control, and can be set to a sleep timer.
While the ultraviolet disinfection technology may not be a necessity, keeping a humidifier clean is vital. In other models, that requires scrubbing any part that contacts water to keep bacteria from forming and being distributed into the air. By treating the reserve water, the Dyson will move only clean fluid.
Not known for cutting corners, Dyson spent $60.4 million to develop the humidifier, and went through 643 prototypes. Cheaper models, like those from Air-O-Swiss or the $60 Vicks V4500, will achieve similar ends as the Dyson, but they require near-daily cleaning by hand to be kept hygienic.
After the unveiling in Japan, the humidifier will arrive in the United States in Fall 2015.