Consider it, or not. The idea of wearing noise-canceling headphones with a built-in air purifier really sounds like something out of an apocalyptic future. There are actually two things we haven't considered: the first is that it's a real device, Dyson Zone, which goes on sale this year. The second is that we live in an already apocalyptic present.
The big picture? Impressive
With the continued urbanization of the world's population, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 9 out of 10 terrestrials breathe air that exceeds the limits set by law. Many metropolises around the world have already returned to pre-pandemic pollution levels. And more than 100 million people, a fifth of the population of the whole of Europe, they are exposed to very heavy, continuous and long-term noise pollution.
Phenomena that weren't born yesterday, of course. And on the other hand, it looks like this Dyson-pulled contraption isn't either.
Dyson Zone and utopia: listening to music, breathing clean air
The Dyson Zone is Dyson's first wearable purifier: it collects urban pollutants such as gases, allergens and fine dust while reproducing high quality audio and canceling unwanted sound. As an advertiser I can say that anything that can be summarized in a few words sounds good and has three important advantages: clean air, good music, no noise. Who wouldn't like it?
This item is not a joke. When I saw his patent filing over two years ago, I talked about it in the blog and I followed his path, which comes from afar. It was born from 10 years of research on air purification technology (James Dyson's company has come up with some of the best models in this field), and in the last 6 years, as many as 500 prototypes of Dyson Zone have been produced before this .
Early prototype Dyson Zone air purifying caps had a snorkel-like mouthpiece, while the motor and mechanisms fit in a backpack! In its six years of development, the device has evolved considerably. The miniaturized engine ended up on the nape of the neck, then they managed to integrate it "split" into two compressors: one for headphones. The improvements in the design of the breathing apparatus have led to the current version: a breathable face mask without a visor that allows the delivery of clean air without the need to cover the whole face. A brand new method of delivering clean air and, in its own way, a beautiful piece of wearable technology.
Dyson Zone and dystopia: walking around with a muzzle
The head tells me that this solution is truly remarkable and important. If the planet has become unlivable it is certainly not the fault of Dyson. If they had told my grandmother as a girl that to stay in the sun you would have to cover yourself with cream, she would have laughed heartily, but the truth is that you have to protect yourself in some way.
This seems like an effective way.
Nonetheless, it also puts the chills. In my imagination (and in that of many) the idea of having a gas mask perpetually on your face, something that hides your smile, is aberrant. I don't know if I'd pay (and dearly, given Dyson's not-so-popular prices) to go around combined as Bane, the super villain of the Batman saga. The message is one of humiliating surrender: men have trapped themselves, and now they go around with a muzzle like animals in prison.
I don't know if I would be able to accept it.
I know, I know: it's not all bad
I am aware that there are already a lot of devices on the market that can make our life less difficult. Air purifiers exist, and are increasingly present, as is people's awareness of air pollution. It is that the form of this technology (deaf, dumb) seems to isolate us more and more from the world around us instead of connecting us, and this leads me to wonder if this is really the future we face.
Looking at Dyson Zone (which I think is an exceptional machine, mind you) it seems that the answer may be "yes". Only time will tell if we can find our way back to sanity.