Stephen J. Dubner
03/31/2011 | 3:00 pm
Maybe Dyson should be making smartphones too, eh? They are so much fun to use that I wonder if people will be more likely to wash their hands in airport restrooms …
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The Dyson dryers are the best. If fast and yes, FUN isn’t incentive enough, I don’t know what is. Dyson should probably be making everything.
I LOVE THESE!!! I cannot say it enough!!
Anecdotal evidence suggests, no. We’ve had them around here for a while, but I notice no change in the people walking past without washing.
(In a most likely vain attempt to defend myself from seeming creepy, I have two sons and spend a lot of time waiting by the sink in men’s rooms.)
Though I don’t consider myself much of a germaphobe, these dryers immediately struck me as somewhat unhygenic – I couldn’t dry my hands without hitting them on the casing. Also, as these dryers require the user’s hands to enter the dryer at a certain angle they are not particularly friendly to those that have certain physical impairments. As much as I agree with you that the hand-drying mechanism is likely important when it comes to decisions about whether or not you will wash your hands, I wonder if this particular model of dryer might actually have a few attributes that would discourage people from washing their hands?
I tried them up and they were fast but I noticed there was a tiny puddle of water at the bottom and
was worried that there are germs from other people in that water which could
hit my finger so now I don’t use them
Had these installed in our new office building. They are the best of the bunch as far as blow dryers go – high velocity and quite fast. Ours were very loud.
I used one of these at a fancy movie theater and felt like a superhero flying*.
*I may have been drinking.
While I do think the idea is cool and the implementation mostly well-done, I agree with others that the dryer is difficult to use without touching the sides, and the automatic sensor is positioned such that it shuts off before my hands are completely dry.
Version 2 has repositioned sensors above the drying stream ensuring you get a proper, full dry.
Before there was Dyson, Mitsubishi did it.
Although I agree that they’re the best hand dryers out there, paper towels still work better.
I’m a bit surprised that this can be a topic coz I took for granted that they can be seen everewhere….Wat’s worse i’m afraid it’s not as sanitary as you think.
As far as I know, using paper towels may be a more sensible choice.
These dryers are almost impossible for wheelchair users, the very short, and people with other physical disabilities to use. It’s utterly amazing to me how often people construct buildings strictly to the letter of the ADA code and then screw up the space’s accessibility by ignoring details. One brand new movie theatre I visited recently had a soap dispenser on a wall at least four feet away from the nearest sink. How is someone using a wheelchair supposed to wash his or her hands? Wet hands, wheel over to the soap, dispense soap on hands, use soapy hands to wheel back to sink…For able walkers this dispenser placement wasn’t an issue, but for the not-so-able it was a major, but easily fixable stumbling block. And don’t get me started on bulky toilet paper dispensers positioned right on top of grab bars, rendering the bars useless…
Seriously people, it just isn’t that hard to ask someone in a wheelchair and/or with other needs to do a simple walk-through. If you’ve spent money conforming to the letter of the law, why not spare a little attention for its spirit? I guarantee there is a world of disabled customers who are intensely loyal to the places they can navigate easily. (Not to mention the legions of folks who are discouraged from venturing out at all because they’re sick of asking for help everywhere they go. Despite what customer service programs teach employees about being solicitous to the mobility impaired, most individuals would much, much rather you make assistance unnecessary, not waste time ensuring its delivered with a patronizing smile.)
Perhaps a horizontal implementation rather than vertical would be sensible? Then all that’s hampering accessibility is installation height but that’s far easier to address.
There’s still the issue of these dryers requiring the user to enter the dryer in a particular way. No matter in which direction these are installed they will be at least moderately restrictive.
You’ve got to try the XLERATOR dryers by Excel Dryers, they’re awesome (and fun). They look more like a conventional hand dryer than the Dyson, but the air they blow comes out FAST–it makes the skin on your hands wrinkle and dance like something out of an old sci-fi movie. The only downside is that they are LOUD.
I used one of these for the first time when I was in California over the summer. All I have to say is, if all hand dryers were as entertaining as this one, we wouldn’t have any issues with people failing to wash their hands. At least, with easily-amused people.
These hand dryers are very efficient but they are so loud – its like standing next to an F-15 jet fighter! My son is on the autistic spectrum and these would completely freak him out. I’d love it if someone invented a quieter version
You do not have to be autistic to find them highly unpleasant. The ones I had the misfortune to use produced noise which was bordering on damaging. Note that hearing is damaged rather easily, especially in children. And the damage is irreversible. And does not require necessarily prolonged exposure.
Thankfully most places locally have not succumebd to the ‘Ooh, shiny” phenomenon and stick with what works: Paper towels.
The Dyson and XLERATOR models are damaging.
Used one, it blew my wedding ring right off my finger. Wife was not pleased.
I tried one of these once and it didn’t dry well at all. Give me a cheap paper towel any day.
It’s amazing that drying hands in a restroom is still such an active area of development. Electric dryers have never worked well (and always slowly) but the owners of the restrooms are happy to externalize the costs of a 2 minute rubbish can dump onto the patrons, who may each spend two minutes drying their hands.
I’d gladly drop a nickel in a towel vending machine for a good paper towel, if the ‘free’ choice is an electric drying machine. If that’s my only choice and I’m in a rush, I find that pants work well enough.
Love these. One of my favorite things abt living in UK. Glad to hear they have made their way cross the Atlantic.
I agree that they’re nice and fun to use, but they make SO MUCH noise! I always avoid them if there are quieter alternatives.
I used one of these amazing machines earlier this year in an airport and I came out of the restroom and annoyed my boyfriend by talking nonstop for three minutes about how I was amazed by how dry my hands were! I even made him feel my hands. Great product!
I love these things!!! They dry your hand quickly and doesn’t make waste!! We need more of these.
Amazing the number of comments on this. The Dyson Airblade had been a phenomenon in the hand dryer industry in the last year. Yes, Mitsubishi developed a similar machine first, but Dyson made it faster and then put some marketing dollars behind it – rare since this is a pretty small market. (Yes they are in many places, but once they are up they stay up – it’s not like they are constantly being re-purchased like paper towels.) Dyson then charged much more for these and was still able to sell a lot of them – because they work and are new and different than what most people are used to.
There are a couple of videos you can see here: https://www.dyson-airblade.com/index.php
Loved reading Freak0nomics, by they way. Talk about making a lot out of a simple concept!
So its you guys that are creating those crazy germophobe people running around with disinfectant! It’s good manners to wash your hand but I fail to see the lethal consequences for everyone else if it was a urination (not defecation) unless you are a doctor going to an operating room!
My sons and I hate them. They are sensitive to noise (one is autistic the other hasn’t been tested yet), and they are extremely noisy. They always wash their hands then try to run from the things.
I have to wear wrist braces, and the holes aren’t quite large enough to get my hands in comfortably to wash them. So my fingers are nice and dry, but the hands – not so much.
I’m not a big fan of these. As opposed to the regular hand dryers, there is a greater chance of accidental contact with the dryer, and I’m always concerned that the other people using them may not have adequately washed their hands.
They have these at the Intercontinental Hotel near O’Hare. I look forward to meetings there just so I can use the Dyson hand dryers.
Thanks for linking to my post on http://www.SassyMomsintheCity.com! It was exciting to meet you in Chicago and I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. Finally saw the movie which was enlightening. Highly recommend for those who have not had the opportunity.
I haven’t heard of it. Would you mind sharing it with us so everybody would know about this product?
These are banned in food processing facilities for being unhygenic. they tend to spray the bacteria all over the place (including on the workers). Instead we use good old hand towels.
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