Dyson Blue?
July 18, 2010 11:53 AM   Subscribe

The latest advert for Dyson's Air Multiplier fan is great. [SLYT]

(The video shows a balloon running through a "track" made of bladeless fans.)
posted by alby (82 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It's very Dyson Blue, but it would have to be. There's no way anyone making casual YouTube videos could ever afford to have that many of those fans in one place at one time.

I do wish there had been a set-up of a lengthy track and then an editless video of the balloon making its way around through the track. As it stands, it looks like one of those parkour or skateboarding videos where you get the impression that they only used the successful runs and you are left wondering how many false starts ended up on the virtual cutting room floor.
posted by hippybear at 12:00 PM on July 18, 2010

Am I the only one who watched this and thought of Portal 2?
posted by meowzilla at 12:03 PM on July 18, 2010

Is this why Dyson products cost a gajillion dollars? Because their engineering staff is effing around all day? (I did enjoy the video, though.)
posted by retronic at 12:09 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

Now you're thinking with Dyson Air Multiplier bladeless fans!
posted by cthuljew at 12:09 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

@meowzilla - No. Not at all.
posted by redbeard at 12:11 PM on July 18, 2010

Let's hope Ok Go doesn't find out about this.
posted by mecran01 at 12:12 PM on July 18, 2010 [13 favorites]

That video is completely accurate. I can indeed confirm that these fans both suck and blow.

These are an expensive bit of kit that looks good, and tries to replace something that works fine with something that doesn't..

Their hand dryers, however, are actually pretty revolutionary.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:13 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

"And this is what we're doing with all the Dyson Air Multipliers that we are unable to sell."
posted by LoudMusic at 12:15 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

If the balloon had a Mr. Bill face pointed on it I would give it a thumbs up.
posted by benzenedream at 12:24 PM on July 18, 2010

Jesus Christ guys, get a foosball table a couple of Nerf guns like any good engineering team...
Seriously, that was very cool. My wife and I still fight over buying the Hoover Suckulator 5000 when I insisted on getting a Dyson. My insistence lost and we are stuck with a POS vacuum cleaner.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:29 PM on July 18, 2010

Watching the video I had an Arthur C. Clarke "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" moment.

And I can vouch for the hand dryers MuffinMan mentioned. Encountered one a few weeks ago and thought "finally a hand dryer that does what it's supposed to!"
posted by pyrex at 12:33 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

(Oblig. reference to early prototypes for the Large Hadron Collider)
posted by Hardcore Poser at 12:36 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I hate the main fan commercial with Dyson blathering about how traditional fans "buffet" the air. I like how fans work and can get 10 of them for how much your stupid air multiplier costs. Get over it. It's like they're obsessed with re-inventing the wheel and showing how much more awesome their super-expensive vehicle force multiplication unit can be.

So any awe for this balloon trick is lost on me.
posted by graymouser at 12:36 PM on July 18, 2010

I guess this is the upside for a $200 fan that blows less air than a $10 fan.
posted by eye of newt at 12:36 PM on July 18, 2010

Dyson Blew.
posted by itchylick at 12:38 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

it's just like a fan! only without blades! and less effective! and costs 10x more!
posted by nathancaswell at 12:39 PM on July 18, 2010

Miles Dyson! She's gonna blow him away!
posted by nathancaswell at 12:42 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

Their hand dryers, however, are actually pretty revolutionary.
A couple of bars here have those in the men's rooms. Pretty nifty.

And, yeah, this is stinking of Dyson-blue.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:43 PM on July 18, 2010

Like the Large Hadron Collider. Only with balloons.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:43 PM on July 18, 2010

(My mistake, they are $300)
posted by eye of newt at 12:44 PM on July 18, 2010

Kind of neat. But those god damned things are way too expensive. Why help advertise them?

They seem to have enough fans already.
posted by hal9k at 12:45 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

More like price multiplier, amirite?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:45 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, unless your new mousetrap costs 20 times as much and does the same thing differently but no more effectively.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:46 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

So if this is an Air Multiplier, what would an Air Divider be? Also, "airblade" is a hell of a name for a product you're supposed to stick your hands in to.
posted by Nelson at 12:48 PM on July 18, 2010

(I also am a big fan of the hand dryers, but I suspect I wouldn't be if I was too short to get my arms in.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:49 PM on July 18, 2010

When I was thinking about buying a fan the other day, I saw one of these. I didn't get the point. Now I do. You can move balloons with them! (Do they have another use for which they are superior to the $2.99 special?)
posted by wierdo at 12:49 PM on July 18, 2010

+1 on Dyson Hand Dryers. They change the game. Every rest room should use them, then I could give up paper towels for reals
posted by jcruelty at 12:59 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

posted by Chuckles at 1:00 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

And the hand dryer? Well, maybe.. But not nearly as flexible as the traditional kind!
posted by Chuckles at 1:08 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I can see one upside to this: no constantly telling small children to get away from that fan RIGHT NOW.

I think the take-away message here is that I spend too much time with toddlers.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:10 PM on July 18, 2010

Does CERN know about this?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:13 PM on July 18, 2010

does dyson provide any rationale for the exorbitant price tag?
posted by arveale at 2:02 PM on July 18, 2010

The video is kind of neat. But seriously, who at Dyson thought that manufacturing this fan would be a good idea? They aren't as effective as a twenty dollar fan, and they cost more than ten times as much. Buffeting the air? really? It's a fan, for Pete's sake.

And you still have to tell toddlers to "Get the hell away from my $300 dollar fan, you little monsters!" Unless you want to spend the day opening the case up and cleaning the peanut butter out of it.
posted by Xoebe at 2:06 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

grapefruitmoon, you'd still be telling them that. If the toddlers are horsing around with it that could cost you $300.
posted by Evstar at 2:07 PM on July 18, 2010

Just last night I was wondering how these fans work. So there 's a fan and motor mounted in the base that pulls (pushes?) air through slits in the ring, inducing airflow.


Kinda pointless. Especially at $300.

But the hand dryer (which I have never seen before) looks cool.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:17 PM on July 18, 2010

proper amount of suction
posted by machaus at 2:22 PM on July 18, 2010

I've seen some of the Dyson Hand Dryers in public restrooms. They work really well.
posted by itchylick at 2:37 PM on July 18, 2010

The hand dryer works pretty well, but it is EXTREMELY LOUD!
posted by Diag at 2:43 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's a the most non-lethal railgun possible.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:49 PM on July 18, 2010

does dyson provide any rationale for the exorbitant price tag?
posted by Wolfdog at 2:51 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's nice to know that I can't afford one of these and yet a bunch of punks in a warehouse may use dozens of them in flights of whimsy. Kinda sums up...stuff.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:58 PM on July 18, 2010

Dyson no doubt has the only rationale they need; people will cough up the dough.
posted by Justinian at 2:59 PM on July 18, 2010

I become upset when I start to reflect on the fact that this particular company spends more on R&D for a vacuum cleaner than some countries do feeding their poor. One could say this for a lot of companies and products...but pretentious fancy foreign vacuum cleaners....ugh.
posted by Fizz at 3:05 PM on July 18, 2010

I saw one in the store yesterday. Such a massive amount of stupid surrounding the whole thing. And they look like something out of a Sharper Image catalogue circa 1985.

The dyson hand dryers do work marginally better than the older models. I remember using one of the old style machines in a gas station rest room once, and I was reading the instructions as I waited for my hands to dry -- 1) push start button 2) place hands under vent 3) rub hands together -- and someone had written in pen underneath that, 4) wipe hands on pants.

Also, if you need a good fan, buy a Vornado. Those things will move some air.
posted by puny human at 3:36 PM on July 18, 2010

pretentious fancy foreign vacuum cleaners

Well, they aren't foreign to themselves.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:04 PM on July 18, 2010

I know, right! I saw a little bottle of scented alcohol at the mall the other day for like $50! My deodorant cost $3.50 and works much better! Why would anyone pay that much money to smell artificial?

sorry, couldn't help the snark after a page of uninterrupted lol luxury goods comments
posted by noway at 4:33 PM on July 18, 2010

Sorry, I can't help but snark back if you consider a cheap-ass looking tube of plastic "luxury."
posted by puny human at 4:41 PM on July 18, 2010

grapefruitmoon, you'd still be telling them that. If the toddlers are horsing around with it that could cost you $300.

Crucial distinction: they're not my toddlers. I just have to return them in one piece at the end of the day. The well-being of the fan is none of my concern.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:05 PM on July 18, 2010

> lame
Hot damn, Chucles, but Which? have changed their tune. When I was a kid, a Which? review would look something like this:
£300 | █ █ █ ▌| a, b, f | No
posted by scruss at 5:08 PM on July 18, 2010

I want to buy a Dyson television. I want to buy a Dyson lawn mower. I want to buy a Dyson car.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:22 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

That Dyson hand dryer is almost just like the the car dryer thing in the drive through car wash at the gas station: blows the water off.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:42 PM on July 18, 2010

@puny human, if one person, a few people or a few thousand people are willing to pay a luxury price for an item, then it is a luxury item. it may not be your definition of luxury. but i didn't write "puny human's definition of luxury goods".

you focused on an aside I tacked on to the end of my comment, which was that perfume / cologne are similarly "overpriced / inefficient" uses of scenting technology but we recognize them as, well, luxuries that no one needs but plenty enjoy despite a tremendous markup and, to some, silly marketing.

but let me address your comment directly: that this fan is objectively a "cheap-ass looking tube of plastic".

what would be a not cheap-ass looking tube of plastic? do luxury items have to be made out of glass, metal, leather or precious woods? can something be made in a factory and still be a luxury item?

back to my other fellow mefites: what i find interesting is the two minute hate quality of discussions of certain products on metafilter, while other products, which are objectively no different in that no one needs them, get a pass if not enthusiastic endorsements.

(didn't i just read a thread about the beauty of red dead redemption? what is the markup on that product? was that an effective use of millions of dollars and untold human hours?)

maybe i'm too old to get really worked up about Dyson's marketing claims (like, say, that of McDonald's, which promises children happiness in a cardboard box). different strokes, different folks.
posted by noway at 5:52 PM on July 18, 2010

ok. there's a dyson commercial on RIGHT NOW. thank goodness it's only, like 30 seconds, because the whistle in that guys Ss just drives me nuts.
posted by msconduct at 5:53 PM on July 18, 2010

I want to buy a Dyson sphere.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:57 PM on July 18, 2010 [11 favorites]

I just want to know if it will still make your voice sound funny when you sing through it.
posted by orme at 6:03 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Turn it up! TURN IT UP!!!

posted by Evilspork at 6:40 PM on July 18, 2010

You guys can hate all you want but I kind of have a crush on James Dyson.
posted by Legomancer at 6:54 PM on July 18, 2010

Cory's got one.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:13 PM on July 18, 2010

I thought (and hoped) that at the end of all this, the balloon was going to hit a real fan and get shredded.
posted by hanoixan at 8:53 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

yeah, looks stupid. It really does look like something out of the Sharper Image catalog. For $300 or whatever it needs to look beautiful too, be made out of brushed aluminum and brass or something. This just looks cheap. The hand dryer seems to have 3-4mm gaps between panels.

posted by delmoi at 9:22 PM on July 18, 2010

If this thing is as uselessly non-functional as those terrible Dyson vacuum cleaners (which are really just stupid gimmicks on wheels) then I don't want it. Dyson pretty much ruined their reputation for me with those idiotic-looking pieces of worthless plastic.
posted by koeselitz at 12:47 AM on July 19, 2010

KevinSkomsvold: “My wife and I still fight over buying the Hoover Suckulator 5000 when I insisted on getting a Dyson. My insistence lost and we are stuck with a POS vacuum cleaner.”

Take it from me – you were lucky. Dyson vacuum cleaners have crap suction, they don't pick up dirt, they have terrible attachments, and they generally function about three notches worse than a standard vacuum cleaner. It's all marketing; the vacuums themselves are actually shit. (They're a lot like Bose stereos that way.) I actually spend a lot of time wondering why people actually want the damned things, since I was stuck with one for six months before I finally got rid of it on Craigslist because it was such trash.

If you want an awesome vacuum cleaner that actually works, you should get a Miele.
posted by koeselitz at 12:53 AM on July 19, 2010

Would have worked better with an inflatable penis.
posted by ImsoAeriginal at 1:18 AM on July 19, 2010

seconding koeselitz' comment. i have a dyson animal, and honestly, the thing is a pain in the butt although it does seem to have decent suckability. it's heavy, it's klunky, the cannister feature is unwieldy ... it's just another vacuum cleaner that's marketed better than other vacuum cleaners. i suspect the same of the fan. i also suspect they price these things outrageously as part of the overall marketing strategy: if it costs that much, it MUST be good.
posted by msconduct at 3:51 AM on July 19, 2010

it's just another vacuum cleaner that's marketed better than other vacuum cleaners.

I don't know about this. Every conversation I've ever had in which the tv commercials for the Dyson vacuum cleaner came up have basically been about being put off by James Dyson's smug condescension. And however good those ring fans are or aren't -- to me they *look* like something you'd see on the clearance table at Marshall's along with the expired faux-gourmet coffee beans and old branded sports apparel.

Thing is, I have to admit whenever I see the head of a corporation -- James Dyson, Sprint's Dan Hesse, Fisk Johnson, GM's Ed Whitacre, "Papa" John Schnatter, etc. -- I think to myself, here's someone whose swollen ego's getting in the way of running his struggling company.
posted by aught at 6:15 AM on July 19, 2010

Interesting thing to note: the Dyson Air Multiplier was not invented there, or at least not first.

The original design is from 1947, and isn't quite as pretty.

And the claims of bladeless operation is BS.
posted by Xoder at 6:25 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

The nine year-old kid in me looks at this thing and think "gee whiz--here's the future!"

The forty-two year-old me looks across my desk and has a different take.

Sitting there, blowing a steady zephyr my way, is the Westinghouse oscillating fan that my grandmother bought in '38. My mother had just been born in May of that year, and Baltimore was having a hot and humid summer, in an age where air conditioning was confined mainly to movie theaters, particularly in a blue collar port city, so she bought herself a fan.

This fan is 72 years old. My grandmother used it to stay cool as she rocked her baby, then kept it on the kitchen counter for another thirty years, then gave it to my mother to use in her classroom studio at MICA. In '63, my mother used it when my sister was born, then in '68 when I was born, and, as a kid growing up, I was so fascinated with the shiny black antique that worked so well and so quietly that she handed it down to me, with the understanding that I take care of it and not stick my hands through the wide-open black wire guard.

I occasionally did stick my hand through the guard, as it happens, though largely as an experiment that verified that heavy steel blades do hurt a bit if you incautiously probe the blur with a tentative digit.

This is evolution at work, or at least how it used to work.

Now, the fan is sitting on a desk made from a salvaged ladies' room door on the second floor of a hundred year-old clock tower built to advertised a tranquilizer-laden stomach remedy, and it is quiet, one hundred percent reliable, and moves enough air that my close-cropped hair is bristling like a wheat field in a storm on about as much electricity as a medium-sized incandescent light bulb.

Nine year-old me wants the Dyson, and the gee whiz and the novelty of the "air multiplier" (and that's just about as ridiculous a marketing buzzword as you can imagine), but me, I mean this me, right now, can't think of anything dumber than a three hundred dollar gimmicky fan that will be tossed in the trash right around the time that the first complicated little plastic part breaks after Dyson has been sold to its third or fourth corporate holding company.

Meanwhile, the Westinghouse carries on. Once I year, I carefully clean it up, taking the time to open it up, dust it out, and apply a few drops of oil here or there, give it a nice polish with a little wax and some elbow grease, and it's ready for another year, and probably for another seventy-two years.

What's Dyson solved here?

What's the point of introducing a complex system to replace a simple system that works? I had to laugh at that ridiculous animation of what a conventional fan was supposed to be doing, but I guess someone's got to make work for poor marketing types, so they don't end up on the street.

I'm kind of reminded of the never-ending attempts to build a "better" bicycle.

They come up with recumbent bikes, so you can be even less visible to the idiots driving around behind their GPS screens on a bike that's huge, heavy, ridiculously-expensive, and won't fit on a car carrier or a bike rack.

They come up with automatic-shift bikes, so you can pay a fortune for an over-complicated proprietary gear system that saps a substantial portion of your pedal power for "convenience."

They come up with neat ideas that get lousy marketing, silly ideas that intrigue the coolest amongst us, shitty Chinese garbage bikes, compelling but ungainly cargo bikes, and...well, it goes on and on. Some of the experiments are great, some are good, some are okay for very specialized purposes, but most come and then go.

And yet, what's the most common bike in the world, for a very, very good reason?

The Raleigh three-speed and its cousins, surviving atavists, colonial subjects and impersonators.

All the fancy showboating over-engineering in the world can't beat a simple, useful, durable machine that lasts almost forever, rarely breaks, and which does a variety of jobs very well.

Of course, I'm on a tangent with bicycles, but that's because old school fans are, at this point, extinct, except that the surviving originals will all outlast the companies building crappy modern renditions of the same product. So, the "air multiplier" is fun, sort of, but enjoy it while you can, and save a few, next to your collection of Sinclair QLs and C5s, because these are destined to be primarily appreciated ironically by the hipsters of 2019.

The hand-dryers, on the other hand, are flipping fabulous, but the rub, so to speak, is that they address a problem and solve that problem. I wish that basic concept would be more a part of the designer skill set these days, but we're beset by the era of the out-of-control marketing department, alas.
posted by sonascope at 7:22 AM on July 19, 2010 [12 favorites]

> Their hand dryers, however, are actually pretty revolutionary.

William Gibson agrees with you. My four-year-old daughter, on the other hand, is terrified of the one in the restroom of our grocery store.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:59 AM on July 19, 2010

As with his other products, the Dyson hand dryer is revolutionary only in its marketing. 1993 saw the introduction of the Mitsubishi Jet Towel. The things are everywhere in Japan.
posted by Jakey at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Wow, how did Mitsubishi not patent that thing in the US? It's sort of insane how much money Dyson is making off of another company's design, but I guess that's how business works.

Well, now that we know that even the awesome hand dryers were ripped off from somebody else, can we finally lay this whole "Dyson is an awesome innovator" myth to rest and accept that it's all marketing?
posted by koeselitz at 10:30 AM on July 19, 2010

I haven't seen one in person, but these look exactly like ion wind generators. Hobbyists have been making little aircraft that work on this principle for over a decade.

These produce ionized air molecules including ozone, which are a health concern.
posted by clarknova at 10:40 AM on July 19, 2010

When my wife and I first saw the Dyson fan, it was completely devoid of context and sitting unlabeled on a shelf at Best Buy (my guess is that they were setting up the display). It did have a price-tag though, and I remarked on the fact that for what they were asking, I better be able to toss a cat through it, and have it fired into a graceful parabolic arc to the other side of my house.

Now that's the only thing I can think about when I see one; a cat-accelerator.
posted by quin at 12:29 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

A large ceiling fan version might be cool for a patio or restaurant.

That said, and speaking only from my own experience, the only time I really use a fan besides for white noise (in which I prefer the buffeting air effect) is when I'm broke and don't want to use/don't have A/C. So it's highly doubtful I'd purchase any "air-moving" item for more than $20-30.
posted by Debaser626 at 3:38 PM on July 19, 2010

Doesn't the "lack of buffeting air" basically just mean it's weak?
posted by delmoi at 9:19 PM on July 20, 2010

Every year or so I remove the grille on my fan and clean all the accumulated dust off the blades and grille. It can become quite dirty, so I was wondering how to clean this Dyson thing…
The Dyson website mentions cleaning the fan ring with a cloth (yea, no shit!). They say to clear a “blockage” by using a brush on the little vent holes on the bottom of the base to clear the dust. There is no recommended way to disassemble the base to clean the impeller, nor inside of the annular ring.
Anyone who has opened a computer case after several years of use knows how much dust can accumulate inside. I can only imagine what the inside of this fan will look like after a few years of operation, and no way of clearing the air path. This thing will just become one big dust clog and end up in a landfill.

If you want an awesome vacuum cleaner that actually works, you should get a Miele.
NOW you tell me. I never heard of Miele before. Who would have thought that there would be a vacuum even more pricy than a Dyson? I just bought a Dyson vacuum a few months ago to replace my crappy Hover Wind Tunnel, and yes, the Dyson has plenty of shortcomings. It’s still better that that crappy Hoover, however.
posted by Krapulous at 12:42 AM on July 26, 2010

Well, my experience is that Mieles cost about the same as Dysons.

The biggest problem with Dyson vacuum cleaners, I think, is the fact that they're bagless. Bagless architecture is a huge mistake for a vacuum; it pretty much kills any hypoallergenic qualities. Dust goes through cracks in plastic very, very easily, and no plastic is absolutely sealed (Dyson vacuums are no exception). Miele's bags are a hell of a lot better for containing dust.
posted by koeselitz at 1:51 PM on July 26, 2010

The biggest problem with Dyson vacuum cleaners, I think, is the fact that they're bagless.

And yet, they have balls. What a world!
posted by Sys Rq at 2:36 PM on July 26, 2010

Not really b-han. I got my Miele years ago when they weren't so damn expensive (c. $300 for the White Pearl) because my allergy doc recommended them. best vacuum I've ever owned period.

check this out

posted by puny human at 3:16 PM on July 26, 2010

crap , sorry, too used to twitter

check this out.
posted by puny human at 3:24 PM on July 26, 2010

Burhanistan: “I get that, but since the dust was already in the environment is that really a big deal? Bag vacs don't have a perfect seal either, and really no consumer vacuum is intended for environmental sterilization.”

Yeah, but I'm not really looking for environmental sterilization – when I say that bagless vacuums have a severe drawback, I mean that there's a noticeable difference in what using them is like, and I honestly believe anybody who tried it would notice it, too. When you use a bagless vacuum, you can tell when you've been vacuuming; dust is kicked up, and you can smell and even taste that dust in the air more when you've finished than when you start. Bagged vacuums aren't perfect either, I know; but after I use a Miele, I can't smell or taste the dust in the air, and I don't start hacking and coughing the way I always did with a Dyson.

I know vacuums aren't supposed to be industrial decontaminators or anything, but I really think keeping dust down and making sure most of it gets into the vacuum without getting kicked into the air is kind of a central goal of a vacuum cleaner. And when you make claims like Dyson does, shouldn't you be able to deliver on this one pretty basic thing?
posted by koeselitz at 3:42 PM on July 26, 2010

Mention was made of the safety of the fan for small children.

Vornado makes a fan with cloth blades for less than $15.

Sorry for the late post, but I just saw one of these. It gives good airflow, and you can put your fingers right into the spinning cloth fan blades--it doesn't hurt, it just feels funny.
posted by eye of newt at 10:08 AM on July 31, 2010

@sonascope, your comment is almost a post in itself, full of details and new ideas. so, if you don't mind, let me reply to it as such.

are you arguing that the design of household machines is primarily a matter of designing a mechanism that can be repaired by the user with commonly available parts and know-how?

that might make it difficult to compliment the iPad as "well-designed." or, even, analog synthesizers. (hey, they were almost household once.)

or are you arguing that it's wasteful – and harmful to humans – to replace working machines with new ones that only work "just as well"?

let's say it is wasteful and harmful to replace items that work OK with ones that work only slightly better. how do you get consumers to keep something around? (beyond telling them that they should. marketing can only do so much.)

i think one way is to make things fun and pretty.

i know more than a few conservative, hard-scrabble, modest men who keep around old cars because these cars look pretty and are fun to drive.

"fun" is certainly how most people organize their lives – where they live, who they live with and how, to what end when they're not working, etc.

so, i would think that a machine that works well but is also fun to look at and/or use, like this Dyson doohickie, might last a bit longer than one that works just as well but is, er, less fun. You might even want to pay a premium for that fun if the bite of the cost will make you keep it running longer. Thus, perhaps, keeping Dyson repair men around for longer.

If you're arguing is solely one about the compact between consumer and manufacturer and you feel that Dyson won't be around for 50 years or that the technology they're using is not as stable as it could be, I think that's a fair critique to throw at Dyson. Maybe you could even regulate that all new fans come with a 50 year-warranty. That would be an interesting test to put to the economy.
posted by noway at 8:58 PM on August 9, 2010

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